Transport is undoubtedly one of the worst affected industries of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Lockdowns, isolation, and stay at home orders have meant that once heavily-congested buses, trains, and even aeroplanes are running less frequently and at a far lower capacity.
This has posed serious financial challenges for several transport companies, but a whole new set of challenges are likely to arise as lockdown begins to lift.
As more people venture outside (and even begin to return to work), we will again rely on public transport to get from A to B. This means transport providers are under immense pressure to provide improved services that not only encourage commuters to travel using their services but that are also cost-effective and compliant with new COVID-19 guidelines.
On top of social distancing and mandatory masks or face shields, should transport companies be looking to more sophisticated virus shields, such as those using UV light technology?
Mobile UV virus shields could be a cost-effective and efficient solution to keeping infection risk down amongst a growing passenger base.
This blog will give transport providers some insights into how to plan and invest now in order to come out on top in the upturn.
Will transportation services ever be the same?
At this point, nobody knows how much ‘normality’ we will get back, and how fast.
What we do know is that transport is absolutely vital to keeping all areas of industry going. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of essential workers, including healthcare workers on the front line, have relied on public transport to get to and from work.
This is positive news for transport companies, as it shows that there is still a lot of consumer demand for public transport. After all, if people are using your services in a pandemic, then they’ll use your services as things slowly return to ‘normal’.
The worst-case scenario for many global transport operators is that the public won’t return to mass transport once things reopen. According to the UK Department for Transport, transport use fell by 60% from February – April.
It is likely that transport companies will need to work hard to instil a sense of confidence and safety amongst their passengers in order to get a good number back.
One way to do this is to invest in Coronavirus-destroying UV technology.
Masks don’t do enough to prevent infectious diseases
Encouraging passengers to wear masks, use hand sanitizer, and respect social distancing goes some of the way to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, but cloth masks and plastic face shields are not enough to really protect people from Coronaviruses, bacteria, mould, and the influenza virus.
Virus droplets and aerosols can be transmitted via surfaces, air, or physical contact on all forms of transportation, including air, sea, and ground transportation. Drivers and passengers in train carriages, buses, aeroplane cabins, and even waiting rooms and platforms can be exposed to airborne and surface bacteria and virus aerosols often linked to air conditioning systems and recirculated air.
It is important, therefore, to provide additional virus protection. This may be mobile UV virus shields that can be secured in separate carriages or UV technology that works throughout your entire HVAC system.
Using UV light technology to protect your staff and your passengers
UV light is one of nature’s most powerful weapons against viruses (including SARS-CoV-2, MERS, and influenza), bacteria, mould, mildew, and odours. It is powerful enough to break down unwanted organisms and compounds without harsh and dangerous chemicals whilst still being completely safe to passengers.
The UV light penetrates the cell walls of micro-organisms such as viruses and bacteria, shattering their DNA and making it impossible for them to grow, reproduce, and survive.
It disinfects even hard-to-reach areas whilst being totally effective on every surface. In fact, BioZone’s technology allows for constant disinfection of the air and surrounding surfaces.
This means that UV is a chemical-free, eco-friendly, time-saving, and effective alternative to chemical disinfection in carriages, cabins, bathrooms, and communal areas.
What does the future hold?
The next few months will definitely be pivotal for transport service providers. Rising commuter expectations will pose some challenges, but the right approach will help transport companies meet expectations and keep the public safe.
It’s important that transport service providers use this time to invest and improve in time for the end of lockdown measures.
To find out more about how BioZone technology can help you, please get in touch today.