Phase II modernization of the PRT is not a typical repair job, it’s a replacement and renovation of the technology that already exists.
According to the WVU Department of Transportation and Parking website, the estimated cost of the Phase II modernization is
According to to the website, WVU is working alongside Thales Corp. to retrofit the PRT system.
Thales is a multinational technology company whose Communications-Based Train Control system, or CBTC, helped to modernize the
London Underground tran-
The Thales system is designed to increase efficiency and reduce the need for maintenance.
According to Clement Solomon, director of the Department of Transportation and Parking, there was a full demonstration of this technology in action during the first week of December.
Eleven vehicles were already converted to this new system and have been undergoing tests.
Solomon said that the demonstration was a success. "We’ll retrofit more cars and add them in the coming months," he said.
The 11 PRT vehicles are not in operation during regular hours, since the new software is still not compatible with the original system.
Solomon said the updates to each of the vehicles will not affect PRT passenger service.
"Some [vehicles] are retrofitted to 80 percent, which means they can be brought back into the old system and be used for passenger service," he said.
In addition to replacing software, Phase II includes replacing electronic boards, sensors on the guideways and signs.
According to Solomon, the PRT system transported
1.1 million riders during the fall semester.
"This speaks to the capacity and capability of this mass transit system," he said. "As we continue to modernize it is bound to get better in terms of moving people as well as greater reliability."