CTA personnel power washing a subway station


Our No. 1 focus throughout the pandemic has been on providing the cleanest travel environment possible for you and our employees. We already have one of the most rigorous cleaning regimens of any U.S. transit agency and we remain committed to looking for new ways to make it even stronger. 

Learn more about how we're keeping our vehicles and stations clean and disinfected:


What's new

Electrostatic Sprayers

CTA workers using new electrostatic sprayers as part of the deep cleaning process to thoroughly disinfect all vehicle and station surfaces. 

Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve been researching a variety of new tools and measures to further enhance our already comprehensive cleaning regimen to provide you with a healthier and cleaner travel environment. Some of the new tools and measures we've adopted include:

  • Electrostatic Sprayers
    These sprayer devices supplement our existing deep cleaning measures, allowing  personnel to clean our vehicles and stations more efficiently and thoroughly. What they do is apply an electrostatic charge to the cleaning solution as it is sprayed, which creates a fine mist for even distribution and allows the cleaning solution to virtually cling to any surface and thoroughly disinfect the area. 

    • B-roll of rail car cleaning with electrostatic sprayer (video

    • B-roll of bus cleaning with electrostatic sprayer (video)

  • Surface Coating
    To help address concerns of germs on surfaces in between cleanings, we’re testing several new products on the interior of our vehicles that prevents certain materials (e.g. bacteria, viruses, liquids, etc.) from sticking to treated surfaces for an extended period of time.

Daily cleaning



Every CTA railcar and bus is cleaned daily, which includes disinfecting high-touch surfaces (seats, handrails, stanchions, etc.) and more-concentrated spot cleanings as needed.

  • Cleaning BEFORE service: Every railcar and bus is cleaned before it leaves for daily service—this includes wiping down seats, stanchions, grab handles and surfaces with disinfectant, as well as sweeping and trash removal.
  • Cleaning WHILE IN service: Workers disinfect the high-touch surfaces of railcars at all terminals before they turn around for another run. Workers have also been stationed at the Navy Pier, Jefferson Park, Howard, Midway and 95th/Dan Ryan bus terminals to use a disinfectant/cleaning spray to wipe down high-touch surfaces of buses serving more than 40 different routes.




Each rail station is cleaned and disinfected multiple times throughout the day. Employees are tasked with focusing on disinfecting high-touch surfaces such as:

  • Door handles 
  • Handrails  (e.g. stairways, elevators, benches)
  • Customer assistance buttons
  • Passenger intercom units
  • Ventra vending machines
  • Faregates 
  • Turnstiles and rotogates
  • Elevator buttons

Deep cleaning



In addition to daily cleanings, all vehicles undergo a routine "deep clean", which entails intensive cleanings of the interior surfaces from the top of windows to the floor. Each night of the week, approx. 300 vehicles -- 150 railcars and 150 buses -- are deep cleaned.  As part of this process, crews will use a 3-in-1 product that cleans, disinfects and deodorizes all surfaces of the vehicles, including:

  • grab bars
  • grab handles
  • wall surfaces
  • floors 
  • seats 
  • stainless-steel panels
  • bus farecard readers
  • bus stop request pull-cords and buttons


Crews performing a deep clean of a subway station

Complementing our enhanced daily station cleaning measures, we’ve also introduced new mobile cleaning SWAT teams to help take our cleaning efforts one step further.

Ten teams (of 4-5 members) are deployed throughout the rail system to power wash station surfaces (e.g. platforms, station floors and walls). Work is performed during the overnight hours to limit the impact on our riders. Each week, 50-75 rail stations are cleaned by our mobile cleaning SWAT teams.