Metrolinx isn't the first transport agency to do this, either.
Union Station is going to have its air and its high-touch surfaces tested for COVID-19.
For Metrolinx's Rail Safety Week, the transit company said it is going to be looking for COVID-19 as part of a pilot study of environmental sampling. This is all part of a campaign to bring awareness to the safety risks of transit, which include the possibility of contracting COVID-19.
To determine how effective Metrolinx's COVID-19 protocols have been, staff will be collecting air samples from high-traffic areas at Union Station and Union Station Bus Terminal, as well as from buses and trains. They will be swabbing high-touch surfaces in all of these areas, too.
After everything has been collected, the samples will be sealed and cooled down before they are sent over to a lab.
In a blog post, Metrolinx says that, while the samples won't be able to provide "an indication of infectiousness [...] they should provide evidence if the genetic material of the virus was detected."*
Other transit agencies have also looked into this kind of testing. Earlier this year, Network Rail in the U.K. conducted air and surface sampling for COVID-19 at its transit stations and found no traces of COVID-19; last year Transport for London performed regular environmental sampling and also found no traces.
The results for Union Station will be revealed within the next few weeks.
*This article has been updated.