January 21, 2021
Edmonton Transit Service (ETS), in collaboration with an award-winning local biotechnology company, Outbreaker Solutions, is excited to pilot innovative germ-killing push-plates that are being installed on various entrance and exit swing doors at some transit centres and LRT stations. Push-plate installation is being rolled out in a phased manner, and began earlier this week at Bay/Enterprise Square LRT Station, as a way to further enhance health and safety on transit for passengers and staff.
The push-plates are flat, made of highly compressed salt and safe to touch. They look and feel just like a ceramic tile. The company has published their research
that shows the push-plates are effective in killing the majority of germs, including viruses, bacteria and fungi in just a few seconds, due to the salt crystals piercing the membrane walls of the germs, effectively neutralizing them.
“We are excited to partner with ETS to launch our antimicrobial surface. This project is a major step forward for the commercialization of our fast, safe, accessible and passive infection prevention technology,” said Matt Hodgson, Co-founder, Outbreaker Solutions. “The support from ETS has been incredible and it's great to see a made-in-Edmonton innovation get implemented by the City of Edmonton.”
Based on results from the push-plates at Bay/Enterprise Square LRT Station, along with citizen feedback, it is anticipated that push-plates will be installed at nine other transit facilities during the next month. This pilot project will last for six months.
“This is an exciting pilot project, not only because it’s a further safety enhancement for Edmontonians, but it’s also being done at no cost to taxpayers,” said Craig McKeown, Director, LRT Operations and Maintenance, ETS. “Supporting local homegrown innovation like this makes perfect sense, as it contributes to the local economy and talent in the city.”
In addition to the many health and safety enhancements already implemented on transit, new antimicrobial seats will be installed on nearly two thirds of the LRT fleet from late-January until March. These seats will have an antimicrobial additive in the plastic that can reduce up to 99.9 per cent of microbes within two hours. ETS is considering using this additive for any further seat replacement on buses and LRT.
Edmontonians should still continue to follow all COVID-19 related safety precautions, including practicing good hand hygiene, physical distancing and wearing a mask when in public spaces, including while on transit.