Jul 14, 2020 - Health

Cleanest trains in memory

A contractor cleans a subway car at the 96th Street station in NYC.

A contractor cleans a subway car at the 96th Street station in NYC. Photo: John Minchillo/AP

Transit authorities are busting out every trick in the book to coax riders back on trains and buses.

Why it matters: In regular times, riding on a subway car is dramatically safer than driving a car to the office. But social distancing is next to impossible on mass transit, especially during an airborne pandemic

  • Officials are hoping to keep essential workers healthy, including transit staff. The CDC has recommended to employers that employees use cars instead of transit, but that's not an option for many.
  • Add in office reopenings and the start of school, and this fall gets dicey fast.

The laundry list at play AP:

  • Ultraviolet light in Moscow and Shanghai.
  • Ozone gas in Hungary and the Czech Republic.
  • "Dry fogging" in Dallas.
  • Hydrogen peroxide solution in Hong Kong.
  • New York is also considering testing low levels of far-UVC light, which a study suggested last month could kill human coronavirus without harming eyes and skin.

The bottom line: These projects come at a steep cost, with NYC's MTA estimating it could cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

  • The city, like many others, has added more subway cars and signage to help people distance as much as possible.
  • The MTA warned last month that it could run out of cash by August without another big round of stimulus spending.
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