WVU Shuts Down PRT System for Upgrades - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

WVU Shuts Down PRT System for Upgrades

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MORGANTOWN -

WVU's personal rapid transit, or PRT, system averages around 14,000 students a day. With most of the WVU student gone for the summer it was the perfect time for some upgrades and some up keep.

"The PRT is the main way I use to get to get between the downtown campus and the Evansdale campus," said Omar Mozahem. "That's where most of the stuff is that I go to since I don't have any classes right now."

The system is usually shut down in May for regular cable tightening, surveillance camera cleaning, and structure maintenance. This year each car is getting a new computing system, bringing their operating PRT cars from around 20 to 65.

"Computers that are on the vehicles, we're removing all of those to install a new software patch into them that will help us at station stops and performance on the guide way," said Robert DeWitt, the Electronic and Operations Manager for the PRT.

This project costs around $6 million. The main thing it will help fix is downtime. Which is one of the students biggest complaints.

"They definitely have to change the time that it takes for the gates open," said Mozahem. "There's students just standing there for like five minutes ready to go and you just have tons of students waiting to get in."

With the current project and other minor fixes the PRT should be running much quicker by September when the majority of students return.

"The PRT will be truly back to the way it was designed in 1975," said DeWitt. "So we're really looking forward to that."

The PRT's next major upgrade will be the train control system which is around a $36 million project. That will be ready around 2016.