Public transportation modes come under the limelight in times of communicable disease pandemics such as SARS, COVID, etc. The biggest challenge in the public transport sector would be to implement social distancing in a country like India where public transport modes are always crowded and infrequent. Most people will avoid travelling but only those will travel who can’t avoid it. However, the risk of getting infected through surface contact exists despite the several precautionary measures introduced. In short distance travel such as in a city bus, ultra violet sterilization is an effective method to disinfect the exposed surfaces.
A typical city bus trip can range from few minutes to an hour and the general precautions followed to prevent spread of contact infection are allowing only passengers with masks to enter, use of sanitizers and thermal screening. However, the pathogens do not get killed and the likelihood of infection transmission persists. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation is a safe and highly effective method for disinfecting the air, surfaces thereby preventing transmission of a variety of airborne and droplet infections.
In air-conditioned buses, the air inlet ducting can be fitted with an Ultraviolet light fitted HVAC airstream sterilizers which efficiently kills all pathogens and ensures safe air is provided inside the bus. Compact Ultra Violet light-emitting sterilizers can also be fitted onto the sides and ceiling of bus, which can be switched on in depots while not having any passengers inside after the completion of a trip. Such a typical sterilization cycle can last for about 5 -7 minutes and all the exposed areas inside the bus can be disinfected. Thus, ultraviolet sterilization is an effective means to make city bus travel safe and healthy.