The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Blazer Express bus system will be the pilot location for new electrostatic sprayers to better disinfect vehicles.
Groome Transportation, the system’s vendor, will provide the materials and training for the new technology, a process that exceeds CDC guidance for sanitization and is similar to the technology UAB Facilities is using for public spaces across campus.
“There are many surfaces on our buses and vans, and we have been proactive in keeping them sanitized often,” said André Davis, director of UAB Transportation. “This new system will make quick work of this process and help us support UAB’s mission to be the safest campus in the nation.”
These new sprayers will disinfect the interior surfaces of each bus and vehicle with a safe, high-grade EPA-registered disinfectant, which is 99.999 percent effective against a wide variety of bacteria and viruses, including coronaviruses. Electrostatic sprayers work by charging liquids — cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants — as they pass through a sprayer nozzle. This creates charged droplets that repel one another and actively seek out surfaces, which they stick to and even wrap around to coat all sides. The result is a uniform coating of sanitizer or disinfectant on sprayed objects — including hard-to-reach areas that manual cleaning can miss.
While the Blazer Express system had already implemented enhanced cleaning protocols in March — including frequent disinfection of handrails and providing hand sanitizer — this new system will enable the buses to be effectively disinfected more frequently.
“Groome has partnered with UAB Transportation since the beginning of the pandemic to lead efforts in reducing the spread of COVID-19,” said Derrick Harper, general manager of the UAB location for Groome Transportation. “Among our fleets, UAB has been among the first to reduce passenger capacities, to add additional preventive measures and now to disinfect with state-of-the-art sprayers.”
These sprayers are similar to the hospital-grade sprayers UAB Facilities is using across campus for large spaces to ensure they are disinfected frequently and safely. These machines have been used in hospital settings in the past and are key to Facilities’ cleaning protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This process will not replace the current safety measures in place on Blazer Express buses, which include:
- Pre-work temperature screenings for all Groome Transportation drivers
- Reduced passenger capacities (10 people per vehicle)
- Drivers’ wearing masks and gloves, using hand sanitizer, and practicing good hygiene
- Enforced mask requirement for passengers