The PRT is getting an upgrade that will have it sailing down the tracks faster than ever before.
For the past few weeks, the WVU Parking and Transportation team has been testing and designing a new function for the PRTs called demand mode. This system allows passengers to choose their destination before boarding.
Once a destination is in the system, a PRT will arrive from its station and take the passenger to their stop without pausing to pick up or drop off other passengers.
Clement Solomon, director of transportation and parking at WVU, said that with demand mode, passengers will have a wait time of no more than five minutes for their PRT.
“Overall, we have been focused on improving passenger experience,” Solomon said.
However, Solomon cautions passengers when using demand mode. If someone accidentally chooses the wrong station, there might not be another PRT there waiting to take them to their correct choice.
Still, when things get busy and rush hour at the PRT stations is near, the team is planning to have some demand PRTs running, along with the scheduled ones.
While testing it this spring, Solomon said that the program had a reliability of 99.5%.
Not only will this be practical for WVU students and employees in getting from place to place, but this will decrease the amount of empty PRTs that run. When this happens, mileage adds up, and they need work done, Solomon said.
Testing is still being done with demand mode. They will be running the program all day Friday and Saturday.