Staff Report #1
June 30, 2021
To All Commissioners
Re: Implementation of Active Air Purification System on LTC Fleet
That the Commission:
- APPROVE the supply and installation of the United Safety and Survivability Corporation (USSC) Active Air Purification System onboard the conventional transit fleet at a cost of $1,189,422 exclusive of applicable taxes; and
- DIRECT administration to finalize contract particulars with USSC as required.
Early into the onset of the global pandemic, administration created a Pandemic Response Plan which breaks down the path to recovery into three primary phases:
- Resolve – assess issues as they arise in an effort to maintain services;
- Resiliency – reassess decisions made in the Resolve phase and implement practices and policies that will ensure resiliency going forward as the pandemic situation continues to evolve; and
- Rebuild – establish a transit system that has responded to the challenges created by the pandemic and its lasting effects including shifts in ridership patterns, levels and expectations; public health expectations relating to the safety of employees and riders; availability of funding from all levels of government; and community priorities
The resolve phase of the plan remained active through the first half of 2020, as administration worked to respond in real-time to issues as they arose, with the underlying objective of keeping LTC employees and riders as safe as possible while continuing to operate the public transit services.
Mid way through 2020, as restrictions eased after the first wave, the organization transitioned into the resiliency phase, revisiting policies and practices put in place during the resolve phase to ensure they continued to be applicable given changes in public health policy and guidance as more definitive details were understood with respect to the COVID-19 virus. As more was understood about the manner in which the virus was being transmitted, focus became more heavily directed toward mitigating opportunities for virus spread via airborne particles versus contact with surfaces.
The approval of the 2021 Conventional Service Plan represented an initial piece of the rebuild phase of the plan, noting the primary objective of the approved changes is to make the transit system as a whole more convenient to more Londoners. It is hoped this approach will not only help to get pre-pandemic riders back on the service, but may also attract new riders for whom the service was not considered a viable option in the past. While these improvements will make the conventional service more convenient and accessible, it will not address the concerns that have been raised with respect to the potential close contact that riders may experience on transit, and the related safety concerns while the virus is still circulating in the community.
Throughout the pandemic period, administration has continued to monitor industry best practices and solutions that have been developed in response to the challenge of keeping public transit systems operating safely for both employees and riders through a pandemic. United Safety and Survivability Corporation (USSC), a longstanding business partner to the transit industry, has a solution available that will provide a safer environment for both riders and LTC Operators, and will help to alleviate riders concerns with respect to returning to transit and whether it will be safe.
The product being recommended for installation on the LTC fleet is based on a PHI (Photohydroionization®) Cell which produces continuous low dose airborne hydroperoxide (H2O2) generated via UV catalytic advanced oxidization technology. This solution is based on proven technology that is in use with over 4 million units in service over a 20-year history. The proven solution has been adapted to work on transit fleets (buses and rail cars).
Independent third party testing and validation on this adapted for transit technology resulted in 99.9% inactivation of SARS CoV2 within the occupied space in the air and on surfaces. In addition to the high level of effectiveness against the SARS CoV2, the same levels of effectiveness apply to H1N1, Avian Flu, MRSA, E.coli, mold and carcinogens virus, resulting in a much safer transit experience for the rider, and a much safer work environment for the transit Operator.
The product has been implemented in a number of US transit systems, and is being trialled for potential installation at a number of Canadian Transit systems. Feedback from systems with the product installed has been very positive from both a rider and transit operator perspective.
The cost of the Active Air Purification System and installation is $4,420 per 40’ bus and $8,840 per 60’ bus. The total cost, exclusive of applicable taxes, to retrofit the entire LTC fleet is $1,189,422. The cost of this program can be funded within the Phase 3 Safe Restart program allocation. USSC has indicated that the entire fleet can be retrofitted by the end of 2021.
A communications program will be developed with respect to this implementation, with specific messaging directed at LTC employees and riders with respect to the additional safety measures that will be in place with this installation. The campaign will be rolled out as the units are installed and activated.
I – USSC Active Air Purification Presentation (for Commissioners only)
Mike Gregor, Director of Finance
Craig Morneau, Director of Fleet & Facilities
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager