Marietta (Ga.) City Schools has added on its school buses new technology designed to purify the air and improve onboard safety for students.
The district began installing Bus Clean Air Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization systems from Custom Mobility on its route buses on Dec. 10, according to a post on Marietta City Schools’ Facebook page.
The systems are designed to clean the air by using charged ions that attach to particles, pathogens, and gases to break them down, according to Custom Mobility’s website. Using needlepoint ionization technology, the systems can reportedly remove more than 99% of coronavirus from the air within 30 minutes, according to the adaptive equipment dealer.
Jen Brock, Marietta City Schools executive director of communications, told the Marietta Daily Journal that the district expects to install the systems on all 67 of its buses by Dec. 16.
The decision to install the units comes after the Marietta City Schools board voted on Dec. 8 to approve the purchase of the units for every route school bus, which totals $78,565, according to the district’s website. The purchase was reportedly made possible with CARES Act funding provided to the district by the Cobb County Board of Commissioners. Previously, the Marietta City Schools board approved the installation of needlepoint ionization units for all district facilities.
“MCS is proud to be one of the first school districts in the nation to add this technology to our fleet,” Chuck Gardner, chief operating officer for the district, said in a statement obtained by the Rome News Tribune. “As part of our commitment to keep our staff and students safe, we continue to seek and evaluate products and services that will enhance our extensive safety protocols. Thanks to the support of our [school board], our school buses will now be even safer for our drivers, monitors, and students.”
Marietta City Schools currently transports approximately 4,000 students daily, and before the pandemic, the district transported a total of 6,500 students, according to the Rome News Tribune.
View a statement from Marietta City Schools and more photos of the Bus Clean Air systems being installed, posted on the district's Facebook page, below.