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MBTA Announces Additional Increased Sanitation Schedule as Part of State's Preparedness Planning for Coronavirus

Posted on March 4, 2020

Frequency and intensity of vehicle and station cleaning to be enhanced and expanded beginning this week

New protocol to clean high-contact surfaces in subway stations every 4 hours

In-station hand sanitizer dispensers to be more widely dispersed

DPH informational posters now displayed on in-station digital screens system-wide with print posters displayed in MBTA facilities and Stations


Today the MBTA outlined additional measures that will augment existing precautionary actions to sanitize public transit spaces more frequently as part of the state's ongoing preparedness planning for Coronavirus (COVID-19). Working in close coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and other health professionals, the MBTA is taking additional steps to protect the health and safety of customers and employees as public health officials monitor the situation.

“Although the risk for COVID-19 remains low in Massachusetts, we are taking steps to protect the health and safety of our customers and our employees by expanding disinfecting and sanitation measures,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “As an additional precaution, we remind the public to follow existing best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Massachusetts Department of Public Health to protect themselves.”

New enhanced precautionary actions taken by the MBTA include the following:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting: The MBTA is expanding and enhancing the frequency and intensity of cleaning procedures with its contracted cleaning vendors. Starting Friday, all MBTA fleet vehicles (buses, trolleys, subway cars, Commuter Rail coaches, ferries, and RIDE vehicles) will be disinfected on a daily basis. This measure augments regularly scheduled cleaning and sanitizing protocols already in place. As well, all MBTA customer business site locations, including the RIDE Eligibility Center, will also be disinfected once every 24 hours. Additionally, the T has issued a new protocol requiring all high-contact surfaces at subway stations to be cleaned every 4 hours. This protocol, effective immediately, was issued this morning and specifically targets areas including station handrails, fare gates, and fare vending machines, across the system. 
  • Sanitizers: The MBTA is procuring a large quantity of hand sanitizing dispensers and supplies that will be deployed system-wide, including at MBTA facilities and stations. This includes additional disinfectant wipes and cleaning sprays.
  • Communication: In partnership with public health experts and the Baker-Polito Administration, the MBTA is reminding people about steps they can take to protect themselves by using in-station digital panels and by displaying informational posters around the MBTA system.

The MBTA continues to follow guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, with the MBTA encouraging its riders and the public to:

  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Stay home if sick
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean areas that are frequently touched with sanitizing spray or wipes

MBTA riders and Massachusetts residents are encouraged to visit mass.gov/2019coronavirus for information on COVID-19 and mass.gov/KnowPlanPrepare for additional preparedness tips.

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