TransLink is testing out new air- and surface-sanitizing technology in hopes of preventing COVID-19 from being spread on Metro Vancouver buses.
The month-long pilot program launched Saturday, March 6 using three buses: a 60-foot articulated model and two double-deckers.
Photocatalytic oxidation works by circulating low levels of hydrogen peroxide through the air to kill pathogens emitted by humans.
Passengers will not be able to see the process taking place but will likely notice a “subtle clean scent,” TransLink said in a March 5 news release. Buses will have signs indicating the technology at work in the vehicle’s HVAC system.
Photocatalytic oxidation has been used in buildings owned by organizations including Google, Marriott, and Kennedy Space Center, explained Coast Mountain Bus Company president Michael McDaniel.
“We are optimistic that will it have a positive impact on our system,” McDaniel said.
Tests conducted over four weeks will allow TransLink to determine whether the technology should be rolled out company-wide.
To date, TransLink’s COVID-19 disinfection efforts have mostly targeted high-touch surfaces of its bus fleet.
It started using copper in a few of its buses this November. The metal proved 99.9 per cent effective in killing surface bacteria within an hour’s time.
Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.