ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10)
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) has improved the efficiency of its vehicle and facility cleaning as it prepares for an increase in service frequency and ridership. Delta Air Lines has provided MARTA with 50 electrostatic sprayers to more easily and effectively clean MARTA buses, trains, and rail stations. The electrostatic sprayers disperse disinfectant in a fine mist that clings to and sanitizes surfaces without leaving a residue. The 30 handheld and 20 backpack sprayers are being used by trained MARTA maintenance crews to disinfect vehicles and facilities in a fraction of the time needed for a typical wipe down cleaning.
“Delta’s willingness to share best practices allowed us to bypass a lengthy procurement process and gain access to this innovative cleaning technology immediately,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker. “We are grateful to our friends at Delta for this state-of-the-art equipment as we work to protect the health of our customers and employees for the duration of the pandemic and beyond.”
“MARTA is an important partner and essential service for our community as thousands of employees and customers regularly utilize its services,” said Mike Medeiros, VP – Global Cleanliness for Delta Air Lines. “That’s why we’re proud to work with the MARTA team to share what we’ve learned about keeping customers and employees safe during travel, including sanitizing surfaces onboard aircraft before every flight and in common areas using electrostatic spraying.”
MARTA cleans and sanitizes its entire fleet of approximately 500 buses every evening and disinfects high touch surfaces on 200 buses throughout the day. The electrostatic sprayers accelerate this daily cleaning regimen, allowing bus maintenance crews to complete a 5-minute job in under a minute, resulting in more buses being cleaned during their dwell times in rail station bus loops. The disinfectant mist is attracted evenly to all surfaces inside the bus and dries almost instantly so customers may board immediately after a cleaning.
The backpack sprayers are especially useful in cleaning MARTA’s fleet of rail cars every evening as the wearable two-and-a-half gallon tanks eliminate the need for constant refills of disinfectant. This enables rail car cleaners to sanitize a 450 foot, 6-car train in under 20 minutes. Currently rail cars are lightly cleaned while in-service; trash collected, spills cleaned up, and operator cabs wiped down, and the goal is to incorporate mid-day sanitizing with the electrostatic sprayers as rail and cleaning staff schedules allow.
MARTA’s 38 rail stations are undergoing deep cleaning that consists of pressure washing, floor scrubbing, and disinfecting. The handheld and backpack sprayers make more frequent daily sanitizing of high touch areas in rail stations such as Breeze machines, handrails, and elevator buttons, easier and more efficient than the standard wipe down method.
At its lowest point during the pandemic, MARTA rail ridership was down by approximately 80 percent and bus ridership down by 40 percent, resulting in reduced service and more opportunities to clean. As people return to work and recreational activities resume, MARTA anticipates ridership will increase and having the ability to quickly disinfect vehicles and facilities will be paramount to protecting customers and employees. In addition to the electrostatic sprayers, MARTA is exploring the use of other cleaning technology such as using UV light, HVAC filters, and robotic cleaning machines.