UITP partners with GBAC for transit cleaning excellence

March 25, 2021
The entities say the partnership will provide cleaning and sanitization recommendations to transit providers, as well as offer GBAC STAR™ accreditation.

The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) has partnered with the Global Biorisk Advisory Council™ (GBAC), a division of ISSA, to provide transit service providers with cleaning and disinfecting best practices. Additionally, UITP members will be offered discounted rates to achieve GBAC STAR™ accreditation. The accreditation is the cleaning industry’s standard for prepared facilities and the only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities.

In the United States, only two transit agencies, the Central Ohio Transit Authority and Anaheim Transportation Network, have earned the accreditation.

UITP says the collaboration will “continue to strengthen our responses to the ongoing international situation.”

GBAC explains the GBAC STAR™ accreditation was developed to work with the framework of local or national jurisdictions and includes 20 key elements every plan should have, such as worker safety programs, cleaning and disinfecting, personal protective equipment, infection prevention strategies and more.

While public transport providers have enhanced their cleaning practices from the initial spread of the pandemic, costs associated with these procedures have had an impact on service providers globally. UITP explains it will become important for the transit sector to review and adapt current practices, maximize safety of public transport networks and keep costs under control.

“Public transportation is a vital service in society that people must rely on as they return to their routines after COVID-19 lockdowns. It is our duty to help passengers and employees develop assurance in their safety as ridership levels increase. Part of that confidence building comes from validating your protocols and communicating the many steps you are taking to protect people…now is a time when multiple disciplines must work together to protect public health and help local economies recover, making your infection prevention programs vital to a faster, safer recovery,” said Executive Director of ISSA’s Global Biorisk Advisory Council Patricia Olinger.

UITP and GBAC conducted a survey of UITP members to identify “dos and don’ts” for cleaning and disinfection in a transit environment and the survey results will be put into a report, which is expected to be released in April.

“Working with our international membership on how best to react to the ongoing global pandemic continues to be a top priority for UITP. By collaborating with leading voices, such as the expertise at ISSA, we can expand our knowledge and output even further. Sharing research and insight allows us to take a closer look at how to best adapt cleaning and disinfection to ensure the highest level of safety for public transport employees and passengers and strengthen the response of the sector to the coronavirus pandemic,” said UITP Deputy Director of Knowledge and Innovation Karine Sbirrazzuoli.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.