HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Harlingen CISD is stepping up its safety and sanitation on school buses by adding a new technology to protect against viruses and bacteria.

The school district is the first in Texas to feature CleanTransit Automated Infection Control systems by CleanSpray Technologies, LLC.

“The clean spray system is something that automatically shoots a mist into the interior of the bus,” said Harlingen CISD Director of Transportation Luciano Rubio.

He said the system is an extra layer of protection for anyone riding the equipped school buses.

“It protects from harmful viruses, infections, or mold and whatever else. It’s not just meant for the COVID part. It’s also meant just to keep a sanitized bus. A safe environment for our children,” he said.

Rubio said workers have been sanitizing buses with different systems that require manual labor but the new system will make the process more efficient.

“Before this clean spray system, we were using some spray guns right, to spray after and in between the routes,” said Rubio.

“What we’ve learned is when we automate it, we eliminate the human error. At the end of the day when you’ve got a bus driver who is tired and you know been working a long day, the last thing you want them to do is to have to go through a school bus and what happens is they get tired, and they won’t disinfect properly,” said the Chief Operating Officer for CleanSpray Solutions, LLC, Roger McElwrath.

He said the solution has been lab tested and proven effective and explained the system is more than just a solution to viruses.

“Our philosophy is if we can disinfect the environment that’s transporting the students to school, then hopefully we can reduce absenteeism for the students as well as bus drivers. Every bus fleet in the state of Texas has driver shortages. So, we hope that this will help recruit more drivers as well,” said McElwrath.

The school district is wrapping up installing the systems in 20 buses and plans to install the systems in more buses in the future, according to Rubio.