This summer, CAIT and NJ Transit partnered to study the potential applications of ultraviolet-c light for disinfecting the agency’s bus fleet from COVID-19 in an effort to investigate the latest technology to help keep vehicles clean during the pandemic.
NJ Transit has selected four companies to test pilot state-of-the-art technology to improve the health and safety of customers and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. These four companies were selected from a pool of eight finalists after a global search as part of the COVID-19 Response Challenge issued by Transit Tech Lab earlier this year.
Since the onset of the pandemic, NJ Transit has leveraged the latest technology to protect customers and employees, according to a news release. These efforts include a number of different projects such as a study commissioned with the Rutgers University Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) on the use of Ultraviolet-C (UVC) for disinfecting NJ Transit’s bus fleet.
“Rutgers CAIT partnering with our public health colleagues at the Environmental and Occupation Health Science Institute (EOHSI), look forward to continuing to aid and support NJ Transit in evaluating these and other new technologies,” said CAIT Associate Director Dr. Patrick Szary. “There’s always a question of how well something works – especially new technologies. This is a vital step in the evaluation process, there’s more research that needs to be done and we’re here to help our community partner.”
The following companies were selected and will participate in a multi- week pilot testing program with NJ Transit:
- Vyv: uses proprietary LED antimicrobial light to reduce bacteria/microbes from surfaces. This technology will be tested on an Access Link paratransit minibus, a local transit bus, and within common areas throughout NJ Transit corporate buildings (i.e. elevators, restrooms).
- Knorr Merak: uses a three-stage air filtration and purification system to mitigate COVID-19. The air filtration technology will be piloted on a light rail car and a passenger rail car.
- Piper: provides video analytics and collects real time passenger counts from trains and platforms for integration with mobile apps. NJ Transit is investigating the implementation of this technology on the River LINE. This can also be used to report on time performance.
- Strongarm: develops wearable technology that emits physical distancing alerts and can be used to collect data for contact tracing. The proof of concept for this technology will be a select set of floors in NJ Transit Headquarters at 1 Penn Plaza in Newark.
“This group of companies, and the technologies they developed, reveal the tremendous promise of the Transit Innovation Partnership – especially today, as transit agencies around the world work to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NJ Transit President & CEO Kevin Corbett in the news release. “These technologies have the potential to join all the innovative efforts already underway at NJ Transit to fight COVID-19.”
After testing is complete, NJ Transit said solutions that have proven to be successful may be chosen for an expanded year-long pilot deployment.
The COVID-19 Challenge was launched in July by the Transit Tech Lab with five participating agencies – NJ Transit, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Department of Transportation and the NYC Dept. of Education. The Transit Tech Lab is a program of the Transit Innovation Partnership, a public-private sector initiative created to improve public transit.