Buzzer logo

TransLink news, commentary, and behind-the-scenes stories.

TransLink tests technology to sanitize air on buses

TransLink tests technology to sanitize air on buses

TransLink looks at new ways to keep transit safe and clean for customers

TransLink is testing a technology called photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) to sanitize the air and surfaces on board transit vehicles. The one-month pilot will begin March 6 on a 60-foot articulated bus and two double-decker buses.

The PCO process occurs in the HVAC system so customers will not be able to observe the process, but they may notice a subtle clean scent. The three buses will also have clear signage indicating that PCO is taking place.

PCO works by circulating low levels of hydrogen peroxide to kill pathogens like viruses. The technology, which has been tested for safe exposure levels, is already used in other sectors such as the hotel and restaurant industries.Animation showing how PCO works

“TransLink is continually looking at new and innovative technology to keep our customers on transit as safe as possible,” says Coast Mountain Bus Company President Michael McDaniel. “Photocatalytic oxidation is a safe technology and has been used in buildings owned by organizations like Google, Marriott, and Kennedy Space Center and we are optimistic that will it have a positive impact on our system.”

This testing period will determine PCO’s ability to effectively sanitize surfaces on transit and will work with peer agencies to validate the technology’s ability to sanitize air. Following the testing period, TransLink will analyze the data and determine if the technology meets the criteria for wider implementation.

TransLink has been building upon our Safe Operating Action Plan throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by researching, developing, and implementing practices to ensure transit remains as safe as possible. This includes being the first transit agency in North America to use bacteria killing copper surfaces on transit vehicles. We are going to great lengths to achieve our goal of making transit one of the safest public spaces.