New York City to test ultraviolet light to kill coronavirus on subways, buses

Demonstration of UV disinfecting technology at a subway maintenance facility in New York City on May 19, 2020. MARC A. HERMANN/ MTA NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT
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(CBS/WVLT) -- New York City will test out ultraviolet lamps that can kill coronavirus on subways and buses. CBS News reported that the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) announced that the $1 million pilot program will begin its first phase on some subways, buses and other facilities early next week.

According to CBS, nearly 150 devices will be deployed at stations and rail yards to see how effective UVC technology will be. After evaluation, a second phase will expand to the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North commuter lines.

"As we've been saying, we're leaving no stone unturned when it comes to promoting and protecting public health," MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye said at a news conference.

The MTA said UVC is sometimes used to disinfect hospital operating rooms and is considered a proven and effective technique to eliminate viruses. Dr. David Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University, was brought on to examine the concept in a laboratory setting and reported promising results, the MTA said in a news release.

"The UV light that will be used in the current overnight subway and bus disinfection program is very efficient in killing the virus that is responsible for COVID-19," Brenner said. "What we are doing here is reducing the level of the virus in subways, and therefore decreasing the risk of anybody catching COVID-19 on the subway."

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