COVID-19: Reducing the Risk of Transmission on London's transport vehicles

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Civil Environmental and Geomatic Eng

Abstract

We have much to learn about how COVID-19 has spread, however it is clear that being close to an infected person is a risk. The virus causing COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, can be transmitted from one person to another through the air, by direct contact or via inanimate objects. The risk of transmission becomes higher the more people come into contact with each other as well as how long this contact lasts. Governments across the globe have enforced measures which aim to minimise person to person contact, including the transmission of saliva droplets carrying the virus. Public transport vehicles are spaces where the risk of transmission is high because a lot of people use them. London's underground and bus network runs millions of journeys daily and is running at a lower capacity during COVID-19 to minimise risk to passengers and staff. However, it is virtually impossible to maintain the 2 m distance recommended in the UK within the public transport system. This project will combine staff and passenger surveys, microbiological sampling, air flow computer simulations, passenger crowding and ventilation models and air quality measurements to better understand how the risk of transmission can be minimised on London's transport systems.

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