Throngs of people use public transportation every day in urban centers, and touching the handles or straps on buses and trains can expose you to a myriad of germs. To combat this problem, a group of young designers has invented a bus/train handle that can disinfect itself. Cyclean, which recently won a 2014 Red Dot Design Award, reinvents the typical handle with a built-in cleaning function, putting the power of clean back into the public’s hands.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos
Cyclean, Red Dot Design Awards, public transportation, self-cleaning handle, bus handles, train handles, self-cleaning technology, germ transfer, design for public health

When boarding a public bus or subway train, it’s best not to think about the last time it was cleaned. Public transportation is affordable, efficient, and for those living in major urban areas, one of the only ways to get around without fighting huge traffic jams. Still, with thousands of people cramming into the seats and aisles on a daily basis, the potential for germ transfer looms large. If buses and trains were outfitted with Cyclean handles, however, passengers could have the ability to disinfect at least one surface, easing fears about germ exposure and potential illness.

Related: MIT Researchers Create Self-Cleaning Glass that is Anti-Fogging and Glare-Free

“The handle strap can be rotated through a small plastic chamber that contains a rough sponge, a cleaning and disinfecting agent, and rollers,” explain the designers on the project’s Red Dot page. “The handle strap can be cleaned by pulling down on one side of the loop to feed it into the chamber. The rollers clean and disinfect the strap as it is fed through. The strap emerges from the chamber clean. The sponge can be replaced and the cleaning agent can be refilled.”

The idea protects public health, and unlike the use of disinfecting wipes, won’t create a ton of waste paper to throw away. We’d certainly like to see this option implemented into the public transportation system. Tell us: would you be more likely to ride the bus or train if there was a clean place to put your hand?


Images via RedDot Design Award and skyrim

Related: Incredible Self-Cleaning Dishes Could Save Thousands Of Gallons of Water