Antimicrobial protection for transport delivers added peace of mind for commuters

Business Insights

Going back to the office after working remotely can be very exciting; the change of atmosphere, seeing your co-workers after a long break, and even business trips abroad. However, something that nobody has missed is the commute, which can be extremely time consuming and, for those that need to use public transport, a little nerve-racking in a post-pandemic world. Despite all the additional cleaning practices that mass transit providers have implemented, some passengers still have reservations about venturing back onto public transport. So, how can these fears be overcome? One solution is to complement existing frequent and thorough cleaning practices with antimicrobial technology built into common touchpoints on public transport, to help address the cleanliness anxieties that some commuters feel.

Road, rail and air

As we gradually emerge from the pandemic, people will start to resume their usual activities, travelling more as they do so. Pre COVID-19, many commuters gave little thought to how many people had previously used their chosen train or bus service, happily touching handles and other surfaces as they boarded, holding onto grab rails and taking a seat. And what about business trips abroad? This will often involve flying, coming into contact with numerous high touch surfaces either in the airport or on board the aircraft in the process, and spending long periods of time in an enclosed space. In today’s microbe conscious world, where people are all too aware of the need for better hygiene measures, the challenge is to ensure that travellers feel confident enough to venture back onto public transport.

A built-in solution

As population growth booms and air quality concerns loom, the transportation industry is focused on making mass transit more attractive to the general population. Encouraging commuters to leave their cars at home and use trains and buses instead will not only benefit the economy, but also contribute to a cleaner, greener environment for all. Unique, multi-layered solutions are required to combat the real and perceived issues associated with bacterial exposure on public transport. A key part of this approach is the use of built-in antimicrobial technologies. These proven formulations deliver 24/7 surface protection and are becoming an integral part of the wider solution to addressing cleanliness anxieties. When used in conjunction with frequent and thorough cleaning practices, regular handwashing, face masks and social distancing, built-in antimicrobial technology not only helps to maintain cleaner, fresher spaces, but also improves commuter peace of mind when considering public transportation.

Microban International has a long history of developing effective antimicrobial technologies for use in many of the materials found in public transit, including plastics, foams, textiles and coatings. Antimcrobial additives are integrated into materials during the manufacturing process, and become a permanent part of the substrate, providing proactive 24/7 protection for the life of the product. This ‘always on’ technology strikes bacteria at their core, penetrating through the cell walls and taking away their ability to grow and reproduce. This helps to prevent stains, odours and premature product degradation. Combined with regular cleaning routines, Microban® antimicrobial technology will continuously reduce bacterial growth on treated surfaces by up to 99.99 %. This offers added support for the transportation industry as it looks for ways to create the cleanest environments possible for its customers.

Built-in protection is an approach that has been successfully used by companies such as CQRTS and SecurityPoint Media, which have partnered with Microban International to incorporate Microban technology into polymer airport security trays. But this type of protection is not limited to plastics. It can also be built into foams, textiles and coatings – such as those from Coatings Tech Ltd – and used for seats, grab bars and handles, and even vehicle cabin air filters, for example, those produced by WIX®.

An improved user experience

As more and more people become aware of the threats posed by bacteria and viruses – especially following the COVID-19 pandemic – manufacturers for mass transit vehicles must keep the user experience top-of-mind. The transportation sector will continue to call for innovations that encourage the use of public transport, not least the use of built-in antimicrobial product protection as part of a complete cleaning strategy to address travellers’ anxiety about cleanliness. Undoubtedly, the use of this type of technology in everyday life will increase, and you can be sure that Microban technology will help shield the surfaces around you from unwanted microbial growth.