Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Thales to modernize W. Va. University PRT

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Thales said Tuesday, April 29, 2014 it has been awarded a contract by West Virginia University to modernize the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) network operating on the university's Morgantown, W. Va., campus.

Thales said that it "will supply a turnkey transport systems solution. The PRT Train Control and Upgraded Fare Collection Systems will replace the existing systems, which have been operational since 1975. The new Thales equipment will increase safety, improve system efficiency, and enhance the riders' experience."

Work includes installing Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC), automatic fare collection, a passenger information system, platform display signs, new central control equipment, and steering rail design equipment. "Additionally, Thales will perform system integration, testing and validation, safety assurance and training for the new systems," the company said.

The revamped system is scheduled to be operational in 2016 prior to the beginning of the 2016-2017 academic year.

"Our leading-edge SelTrac CBTC technology, combined with our fare collection and Passenger Information solutions, will transform this vital West Virginia University campus conveyance into a modern, world-class transportation system," said John Brohm, president of Thales Transportation and Security in the U.S.

The 8.7-mile, six-station Morgantown PRT system opened in 1975, and serves roughly 17,000 passengers per day. It often is cited by advocates as a prototype for driverless public transit elsewhere in North America.