The City of Turlock's Transit division in California has installed air filtration devices in the driver’s area of buses to minimise exposure to the coronavirus.
AirBubbl devices are manufactured by UK-based firm Airlabs and are independently tested by the Institute of Energy and Environmental Technology.
Turlock Transit says the devices continually remove more than 95% of airborne viruses, bacteria, and other harmful particulate matter from the air and generate approximately 1,060 cubic feet of clean air each hour.
Each device has an activated nano carbon filter and high-grade particle filter, enabling it to capture particles as small as 0.1 micron.
Wayne York, transit manager at the city of Turlock, says: “California faces a huge health challenge both from Covid-19 and from harmful air pollution. These issues are particularly prevalent in the Central Valley and can’t be ignored.”
Turlock Transit plans to install the devices on 11 mid- transit buses following an initial deployment on eight heavy-duty, 35-foot transit buses at the start of 2021.
The transit division insists the devices do not require maintenance until reaching 1,000 hours of operation, at which point the filters would be replaced by fleet maintenance personnel.
AirLabs CEO Marc Ottolini says: “California is the epicentre of the Covid-19 crisis in the US, and keeping public transit safe and operational during this time is crucial for ensuring that the public can continue to travel safely."
"Professional drivers are one of the most at-risk groups from Covid-19 and forward-thinking public transit operators across the world are deploying our innovative air cleaning technology to cut the risk of infection for drivers, protect them against air pollution and keep services running.”
Separately, Turlock Transit has taken steps to protect drivers and passengers throughout Covid-19, including additional disinfecting measures for buses and providing sanitiser and face masks if needed.