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Old 05-14-2013, 11:49 AM
 
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A major rennovation of WVU's fabled PRT system is underway in Morgantown. The first phase, at a cost of $15 million, with make asthetic and electronic repairs and improvements. When finished, the nearly 40 year old system will be modernized with state of the art technology and new equipment.

Article - WVU’s transit system closes for maintenance

The first of its kind PRT has served as a model for similar systems in various parts of the country.

Riding the PRT http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVmWV4a_o8o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dm31tZsnqhE

Like all public transit systems, this one receives heavy subsidies. It is very heavily used, but it is a shame they can't design systems that are actually profitable to operate. They keep saying public transit is not "cost efficient", but in my opinion there are other costs that are not measured that would be in place were it not for the system in the first place.

Last edited by CTMountaineer; 05-14-2013 at 12:19 PM..
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTMountaineer View Post
A major rennovation of WVU's fabled PRT system is underway in Morgantown. The first phase, at a cost of $15 million, with make asthetic and electronic repairs and improvements. When finished, the nearly 40 year old system will be modernized with state of the art technology and new equipment.

Article - WVU’s transit system closes for maintenance

The first of its kind PRT has served as a model for similar systems in various parts of the country.

Riding the PRT
Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) - YouTube


Morgantown, West Virginia's Personal Rapid Transit - YouTube

Like all public transit systems, this one receives heavy subsidies. It is very heavily used, but it is a shame they can't design systems that are actually profitable to operate. They keep saying public transit is not "cost efficient", but in my opinion there are other costs that are not measured that would be in place were it not for the system in the first place.
The PRT will never be profitable. There is not enough people in Morgantown to make it profitable.

That is the case with 90% of transportation infrastructure. Before bashing public transit keep in mind roads are the same. They are expensive to build and maintain and free to drive on. Some roads have tolls but that is usually to cover the cost of building of them and not maintenance and providing service to fix recs and police it. Public transit like the prt and trains probably provide more revenue back than roads.

They do provide benefits but they are indirect and hard to measure.

If transportation infrastructure was designed to make a profit it would be designed around high density areas and would be insanely expensive in somewhere like WV. More likely WV wouldn't have roads and the few roads it had would be too expensive for most WVians to drive on.
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:23 PM
 
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They are not profitable themselves, but they promote denser development and a sense of place for the community, which is a big draw for people. It also helped expand the University, which is obviously the largest economic engine in the area. Without the PRT, Morgantown wouldn't be what it is today and investing in upgrading the PRT is anything but a sunk cost when considering the impact on the city.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by elewis7 View Post
They are not profitable themselves, but they promote denser development and a sense of place for the community, which is a big draw for people. It also helped expand the University, which is obviously the largest economic engine in the area. Without the PRT, Morgantown wouldn't be what it is today and investing in upgrading the PRT is anything but a sunk cost when considering the impact on the city.
Yes, but it is too hard to measure the benefits. They are there for sure will all infrastructure. I'm all for it. There is nothing wrong with subsidizing this.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elewis7 View Post
They are not profitable themselves, but they promote denser development and a sense of place for the community, which is a big draw for people. It also helped expand the University, which is obviously the largest economic engine in the area. Without the PRT, Morgantown wouldn't be what it is today and investing in upgrading the PRT is anything but a sunk cost when considering the impact on the city.
The PRT is a vital part of our transportation network in Morgantown. I'm certainly not criticizing it... just saying it is subsidized like all public transit systems. By far the heaviest used public transit system in our country... the New York City subway system, is subsidized too.

This is a much needed upgrade and will make the system far more reliable and efficient. In my opinion, they need to add at least 2 new stops... the Coliseum and the Wharf District. That would tie things in better for both the city and The University.
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:39 PM
 
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The PRT's major flaw is the size of the cars, and the fact that it doesn't swing into more student residential areas (like Sunnyside). Sunnyside really is the only potential candidate for expansion, as the other large student residential areas have been located so far from campus, you'd have to add 10 miles to the track on either end. The other issue, and if you've ever been a freshmen trying to make it from towers to downtown, is the simply a capacity one. It was designed and built at a time when WVU was probably half the size. I remember the massive crowds almost down the stairs to the stations in the mornings. That sort of thing happens on larger capacity systems, but only when there is an issue like a downed line that causes everything else to back up. If they could somehow link 2-4 cars together during rush hours, things would flow so much more smoothly (and I have no idea if that would even be possible).

Anyways, for the size of the town, it's incredible. I lived downtown and attended classes downtown for the majority of time as a student, but it was great being able to get anywhere by either walking or taking the PRT. That lifestyle at WVU is one of the reasons I live in an area where I can do everything via walking or public transit now as an adult.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:53 PM
 
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In addition to much more advanced technology, they are planning to more than double the number of cars on the system. It should be able to handle even peak loads when completed.

The outlying housing areas all provide bus transport. Some of them even come to the downtown area late at night to pick up residents. It might not be the same as having your own PRT stop, but it seems to basically do the job.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:43 PM
 
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I think the original Sunnyside Up plan called for a PRT station right where Beechview Place is being built. That was a wasted opportunity. Maybe they can team up with Panico when his properties along Beechurst are redeveloped.
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:05 PM
 
10,148 posts, read 13,266,559 times
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Originally Posted by elewis7 View Post
I think the original Sunnyside Up plan called for a PRT station right where Beechview Place is being built. That was a wasted opportunity. Maybe they can team up with Panico when his properties along Beechurst are redeveloped.
The Panico location actually makes more sense. It's a little further from the Main Campus stop.
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