A press release from Amtrak; November 18, 2020:
Installation of new Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation equipment coincide with platform improvements and wayfinding signage
NEW YORK – As Amtrak continues to deliver a New Standard of Travel to simplify and safeguard the travel experience, customers and employees will experience new updates at New York Penn Station. This includes the installation of an Ultraviolet Germicidal irradiation (UVGI) system in one of the Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) units in the Amtrak concourse, refreshed platforms and new wayfinding signage in advance of the January opening of the Moynihan Train Hall.
“By refreshing the platforms and signage and installing this equipment, we aim to simultaneously make it easier for customers to find their train and provide reassurance that we’re working to reduce the risk of exposure while waiting for their train,” said Amtrak Executive Vice President and Chief Safety Officer Steve Predmore. “We will continue to research new and existing technologies that will provide an extra level of safety to our customers and employees and make updates to our stations for an improved travel experience.”
The UVGI system helps prevent microbial growth from occurring on the cooling coils in an HVAC unit. By exposing microbes to intense ultraviolet light from the UVGI system, their cellular functions are interrupted which prevents growth and also eliminates viruses and other microbes that may have deposited on the coils surface. In addition, these UVGI lamps should help the HVAC system work at its peak capacity longer as the buildup of microbial growth is prevented, which in untreated systems can clog the cooling coils and reduce airflow. The UVGI system at New York Penn Station will serve as a prototype for potential future installation serving passenger areas at our major stations.
The platform improvements include refreshed high-performance epoxy coating on the walls and walking surface, new signage, new LED lighting and a new detectable warning surface at the platform edge on Platforms 3 through 8, which serve Tracks 5 through 16. The new signage includes a complete overhaul of the wayfinding design on the platforms and both levels of the station, which will direct passengers between New York Penn Station and the Moynihan Train Hall.
In addition, Amtrak has implemented new measures at New York Penn Station and other stations across the country:
- Face coverings: Amtrak requires all customers and employees wear a face mask or covering that fully covers the entire mouth and nose, fits snugly against the side of the face, and secures under the chin at all times while onboard and in stations unless actively eating or drinking. Passengers must also maintain appropriate physical distancing while onboard and in stations. Based on guidance from health authorities, neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas and masks containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind do not qualify as acceptable face coverings. Face masks can be removed on board when customers are in their private room and the door is closed. If a customer has a medical condition or disability that makes the customer unable to wear such a standard face covering, a facial shield is an appropriate substitute. The face shield must cover the eyes, wrap around the sides of the wearer’s face and extend below the chin. Children under 2 years old are not required to wear a face covering. Amtrak reserves the right to remove a customer or ban them from future travel in the event of noncompliance with Amtrak’s face covering policy.
- Enhanced cleaning protocols: Amtrak is following industry recommendations for deep cleaning and sanitizing of its trains prior to service, with additional enroute cleaning to disinfect restrooms and frequently touched surfaces along the journey.
- Boarding process: Customers can now receive boarding information through push notification via the Amtrak app, which will prevent crowding inside the station for those waiting for the boarding information to post and provide an extra level of confidence to make travel safe and secure.
- Limiting bookings: We are limiting bookings on most trains to allow for more physical distancing in seating areas. Individuals traveling alone may use the seat next to them for personal belongings, while friends and family members will easily find seats together.
- Air Quality: All of our trains are equipped with onboard filtration systems with a fresh air exchange rate every 4-5 minutes.
Amtrak continues to evaluate current practices and pilot new opportunities to support personal safety. Visit Amtrak.com for more information about how Amtrak is maintaining a safe environment and Amtrak.com/info-NYP for more information on Amtrak’s New York Penn Station safety measures.
Amtrak is setting a new standard of travel. To simplify and safeguard the travel experience, new cleaning and convenience measures are part of every customer’s contactless journey – from booking to arrival. Leveraging a full-time medical director and public health and safety team, we are committed to operating a safe, environmentally efficient and fiscally responsible business. Book travel, check train status, access your eTicket and more through the Amtrak app. Learn more at Amtrak.com.