As some schools prepare to reopen for at least partial in-person instruction, pupil transportation providers are adjusting school start plans to meet guidelines for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, social distancing, and extra hygiene and sanitization measures. (Be sure to check the Environmental Protection Agency’s [EPA's] List N for approved disinfectant solutions.)
Here, School Bus Fleet shares information on products beyond PPE, disinfectant solutions, and hand sanitizers to provide extra protection from coronavirus on the bus. These include an ultraviolet (UVC) lighting system, disinfectant sprayers, a fogging system, a ridership tracking system and an app and digital solution that help track cleaning and conduct contact tracing. (Please note that it is important to check with your bus's manufacturer on what products are best for use in the sanitization process.)
Systems that use light to kill coronavirus and other contaminants offer the added benefits of an occupant-free solution without leaving residue behind on surfaces, Tom Lail, business development director for Aveo Engineering, told SBF.
VeoLite, Aveo Engineering’s ultraviolet light (UVC) system, is comprised of eight to 10 lights that are installed in the bus alongside the existing overhead lights. The lights are independently wired and powered by Aveo's SafeSpace control box, on which the driver initiates a “starting” series of switches to activate the treatment at the end of their shift (as they leave the bus). The lights turn on while the bus is unoccupied for maximum safety, and generate a 275-nanometer light spectrum to kill numerous airborne and surface area contaminants, including coronavirus, common flu and cold viruses, and bloodborne pathogens, during a 15- to 30-minute treatment.
Additional areas of coverage are the railings and air-conditioning and heat systems via a micro-fiber filter that Aveo Engineering has also developed in American laboratories to be 99.95% effective in removing those contaminants.
Another key benefit of a permanently installed lighting system is zero cost for deploying the lighting treatments. Buses can receive multiple applications every day, creating the cleanest possible environment for passengers.
Aveo Engineering designs and manufactures specialty lighting primarily for aviation and defense customers; however other Aveo vehicle products are used in specialty markets such as heavy trucks to include school bus, transit vans, and luxury motorcoach.
Electrostatic Disinfection, Sprayers
Disinfection solution tools supplier EZ DISSAN’s electrostatic disinfection solution of the same name contains positively charged particles that cling to and coat the surfaces they are sprayed on.
The solution is designed for a variety of passenger transportation vehicles, including school buses and motorcoaches.
EZ DISSAN’s solution includes Victory Innovations’s cordless electrostatic handheld sprayers to achieve maximum disinfection and sanitization.
Meanwhile, Akron Brass Co.’s portable sprayer for decontamination, the FS100 Portable Sprayer, is compatible with disinfectant agents used to help eliminate the coronavirus when used with EPA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other expert-approved disinfectants (not included with purchase).
The FS100 sprayer features an easy to use disinfectant application method, according to the company. It is battery operated with a built-in charger and comes with three interchangeable spray tips. The sprayer also includes a small electric chemical pump, 50-foot hose, nozzle, and wand. The hard-shell case is water-resistant and keeps the pump, battery, and charger/maintainer safe from UV rays and chemicals.
The sprayer is suitable for use in school buses, classrooms and other school rooms, bus stop shelters, and fleet maintenance vehicles, according to the supplier.
The CURIS Decontamination System is a portable, hydrogen peroxide-based fogging system, deployed with CURIS System’s CURoxide Hydrogen Peroxide blend, that can disinfect a room or enclosed area, such as a bus, via patented pulse technology.
Its hands-free system is designed to reduce human error. Additionally, remote operation allows the operator to monitor, manage, measure, track, and report, including the ability to quickly prove, and continuously improve, decontamination efforts.
CURoxide has been in use for more than seven years to stop the spread of infectious disease in commercial settings around the world and shows 99.9999% efficacy in killing the most resistant pathogens, according to CURIS system.
The system has been approved for inclusion on the EPA’s List N, meeting the criteria for use against coronavirus.
Contact Tracing, Temperature Check Tools
In addition to its disinfection solution, EZ DISSAN is developing a mobile application that can track the date, time, and location of every vehicle disinfection process, take driver and passenger temperatures, and provide that data to transportation managers.
Additionally, Wireless Links/Iristel recently launched its Magic Bracelet for automatic distance and temperature checks combined with a school bus tracking and campus management system to meet COVID-19 back-to-school guidelines.
The system monitors every student while aboard the bus, tracks attendance and when and where each student boards and exits the bus. The system can also account when, where, and at what time each student entered their school, and track students’ locations and temperatures throughout the school grounds.
For automatic distance and temperature checks, the Magic Bracelet sends periodic student ID and temperature pings (wh ich the user can configure) and sends an alert if a student’s body temperature is above the defined preset temperature.The Magic Bracelet sends an alert (a beeping sound) when students get closer than 6 feet to one another (user configurable to shorter or longer distance). If a student tests positive for COVID-19, the system can pinpoint their exact location at all times and show who came into contact with them, according to the supplier.
The system can be customized to include a camera system and a parent app. An app and digital solution are also available to aid in contact tracing.
Tyler Technologies’s Tyler Bus Attendance can help school districts share ridership data without having to implement on-vehicle hardware.
The Tyler Bus Attendance app is designed to be an intuitive and low-cost solution that enables a bus monitor or aide to mark each student present as they board the bus from a list organized by stop order. Users receive accurate daily information, which supports a quick response in case a health concern notification needs to be sent to riders, according to Tyler Technologies.
Tyler Bus Attendance also helps create bus seating charts, which can aid in social distancing. Multiple configurations allow users to automatically skip seats or rows or generate a chart that loads from back to front to minimize rider contact.
In addition to ridership tracking, CalAmp and its subsidiary Synovia Solutions have introduced Bus Guardian, a suite of digital solutions designed to also help schools track sanitization practices on their buses.
Bus Guardian can help schools deliver instant and actionable reporting of school bus ridership for drivers and students based on contact tracing, according to CalAmp, which is particularly important if a student or driver becomes ill. The suite of solutions also delivers a hygiene verification system to help administrators monitor and report on real-time sanitization efforts.
The Bus Guardian contact tracing solution is powered by Synovia’s student ridership and driver time and attendance products. It allows a school administrator to create instant reports around each student’s bus ridership history. The suite of solutions produces instant reports showing who rode a bus during the same time as other students, as well as those who rode the same bus, but at different times. This information can be critical in cases where a bus serves both an elementary school and middle school during different time periods of the same day.
Bus Guardian can also track, monitor, and report on drivers and establish which riders came into contact with a potentially ill driver. The Bus Guardian program relies on an enhanced trip inspection module currently being used by more than 500 school districts, which includes hygiene verification in addition to its regular slate of inspections such as lights, signals, and other roadworthy indicators.
Schools can track in real time their bus hygiene activities and generate reports that show sanitation efforts across their entire fleets, according to CalAmp.