World's Only Personal Rapid Transit System May Expand

The only running Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system has served West Virginia University and Morgantown's downtown for 32 years. Now the university is considering proposals to expand the system to cope with increasing traffic.

" 'I would hate to see Morgantown without the P.R.T. system,' said Mayor Ronald Justice. 'We're a small town with big traffic issues, and the P.R.T. could be the reason we're able to continue our growth.'

"Originally built to shuttle students and employees between West Virginia University's two campuses, which sit two miles apart, Morgantown now sees it as more than just a way to get students to class on time. With commuting times increasing in the region, the university, which operates the system, is considering expanding it.

"The two leading proposals are an extension at the southern end of the line along the Monongahela River into the Wharf District, which city officials hope will be a mix of hotels, restaurants and retail shops; another would go farther north into the research park the university is developing, an area that could become home to a distant park-and-ride facility."

"Despite the early missteps, the P.R.T. in the years since has become a symbol of reliability, never having caused a serious injury and running 98 percent of the time."

Full Story: City’s White Elephant Now Looks Like a Transit Workhorse

Comments

Comments

Morgantown People Mover

Here's a "somewhat readable" academic paper on Morgantown. Surprisingly, the paper continues to be popular 2.5 years after initial publication, garnering 400 web downloads per month. The research for this paper was funded by BART's Group Rapid Transit Investigative Study.

http://www.cities21.org/morgantown_TRB_111504.pdf , 1.7 MB

Steve Raney, Cities21, Palo Alto, CA

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