Local bus company Warrington’s Own Buses is said to have become the first bus company in the world to install air cleaning devices across its entire fleet, to protect drivers from airborne transmission of the Coronavirus.
It has installed 86 AirLabs AirBubbl air cleaning devices in the driver cabins of its buses, which are said to filter out more than 95% of airborne viruses and contaminated particulate matter and flood vehicles with over 30,000 litres of clean air every hour.
The move comes as the World Health Organization said it is looking into emerging evidence around the aerosol transmission of the virus.
Stephen Stringer, head of engineering at Warrington’s Own Buses, said: ‘The priority for us is to protect the health and safety of our employees, who provide an essential service, and of course for our customers, the people of Warrington.
‘By installing the AirBubbl devices we’re ensuring that we can reduce the risk of exposure for our staff, who have done a fantastic job in serving Warrington during this crisis.’
AirLabs, the London-based firm behind the AirBubbl device, said it is now focusing on its new air cleaning solution for the passenger cabins of public transportation, including buses, coaches and trains.
CEO Marc Ottolini said: ‘There is increasing acceptance of the role of aerosol transmission of this virus and that the dose matters, as higher exposures can lead to more severe illness. By installing our cutting-edge technology, you can massively reduce this dose and therefore the risk of infection.
‘We have had significant global interest in our air cleaning technology since the virus struck and believe that it can play a major role in reducing the risk of exposure on public transport for drivers and passengers.’
Illustration of how AiroSafe should work
AirLabs said that last week it received a $100,000 grant from Barclays and Unreasonable Impact to bring its COVID-19-response AiroSafe technology to market, designed to remove airborne coronavirus from the passenger cabins of public transport, by creating a personal air space for every seat.
It added that it aims to install the first passenger protection units with partners by October this year, having worked closely with key players in the rail and bus sector over recent months to develop the technology.
Transport for London said on Monday that all its buses are now taking payments after enhanced safety measures were installed across the fleet to protect drivers and customers from Coronavirus.