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NYC Pilot Program – UV Lights in Public Transit, Attempt to Kill COVID-19



UV light pilot program

A pilot program has been announced by agency in charge of the public transit in New York City. Under this program, ultraviolet light lamps are to be installed in buses, trains and at stations in an attempt to kill Coronavirus. 

In a statement released on Tuesday, The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said that it will use “150 dual headed mobile devices” in order to determine the efficacy of UVC light technology. 

The light heads are being procured from a Denver based start-up, PURO Lighting. 

UVC is one of the three lights in the UV spectrum. PURO Lighting mentioned that UVC has been proven to eliminate COVID-19 virus and is also said to be potent against most of the other bacteria and viruses. The lamps that are to be supplied by PURO will also have UVA and UVB lights to provide disinfection through the complete UV spectrum.

MTA said that the first phase of this pilot project will include installation of lamps in subways, buses and transit facilities by next week. 

Furthermore, if succeeded it will extend to include the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Rail Road as a part of second phase.

The UV lamps are planned to be used overnight during the shutdown on subway trains and also during periods they are not operational. 

MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye said, “For nearly three months, the MTA has worked relentlessly to disinfect our entire fleet of subways and buses but we’ve always promised that we would explore any and all new approaches available to us as well. The launch of this UVC pilot represents a promising next step in our ongoing efforts to identify technologies that can keep our customers and employees as safe as possible.”

In a press release PURO Lighting said that the lamps for disinfecting will use high intensity UV spectrum lights, that can be installed on ceiling and walls or mounted on the poles. 

These units can eliminate surface as well as airborne pathogens, destroying up to 99.9% bacteria and viruses, declared PURO lighting. 

In past studies the UV spectrum lights, mainly UVC has been found to eliminate viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. The light successfully demonstrated its efficacy in hospital operating rooms, urgent care clinics, universities and fire stations. 

MTA had asked Dr. David Brenner, Director of Centre for Radiological Research at Columbia University, to examine and report the efficiency of UV lights against COVID-19 virus. Dr. Brenner shared his results this week stating that his test demonstrated that UVC light eliminated COVID-19. Dr. Brenner is also now conducting additional studies for peer-review publication. 


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