- The STM is accelerating the introduction of a new weekly cleaning schedule.
- The company's spokesperson tells MTL Blog that this schedule was planned before the COVID-19 outbreak.
The STM is accelerating a new once a week cleaning schedule due to what STM spokesperson Phillipe Déry referenced as the "actual circumstances." First reported by 24 Heures, the STM will be implementing a weekly cleaning schedule on "all visible surfaces in the metro station." In past years, metro trains and other surfaces were only cleaned once a month.
MTL Blog asked Déry if this new cleaning schedule was in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, to which he replied that "the deployment of the new program was planned before COVID-19 appeared. Under the actual circumstances, we decided to speed up the implementation of the new program."
In an aim to improve hygiene measures in Montreal's metro stations, cleaning crews will wipe down all surfaces with a hospital-grade cleaning solution provided by Innu-Science. Depending on the type of surface, the products will have a 24-hour window of effectiveness.
"All visible surfaces" will include ticket readers, handrails, grips, floors, and train windows, walls, and doors.
The interior floors of STM subway cars will be partially cleaned and disinfected every three days.
Once a week or "at least once every seven days," the STM will gradually deploy its new deep-cleaning program for the entire fleet of trains.
According to 24 Heures, buses and metros on the STM fleet were previously only cleaned every 42 days, even during flu season.
Despite this new initiative to clean visible surfaces on the metro at least once a week, buses will maintain the once every 42-day cleaning schedule.
Déry says that "the STM is closely monitoring the situation and is in close contact with the public health authorities, who are reminding us that the solution is still, individually, to practice the usual hygiene measures."
Other public transit authorities across Canada are taking measures to improve hygiene amid growing health concerns.
In Toronto, the TTC and GO Trains are implementing a new type of disinfectant and ramping up the cleaning schedule.
Vancouver's public transit authority is also taking the advice of Canada's public health officials.
With growing concern over the outbreak of COVID-19, transit authorities are taking the initiative to protect their passengers against potential contact.
Public transit users should always practice proper hygiene such as coughing into the elbow and washing hands after touching public surfaces.
These and other precautions are outlined on the government of Canada website.
In 2017, the STM saw a total of 260 million boardings across its network. Thousands of people per day take the bus and metro system in Montreal.
Stay tuned for more news about the STM.