President Barack Obama's Department of Transportation has decided on an upgrade for the Personal Rapid Transit system at West Virginia University, that institution has announced:
WVU has been awarded a Federal Transit Authority [sic] grant that, along with allocated student transportation fee monies, will pay for a portion of the upgrades to the PRT.
"The overall goal is to erase intermittent problems through new and upgraded technology in order to provide a more positive passenger experience by making the PRT more dependable," said John Jeffrey, PRT project manager.
The VCCS, or brains of the vehicle, will be the first system upgraded. These onboard computers communicate with electrical systems on the PRT guideway and at the passenger stations about vehicle movement all along the system.
The VCCS has been redesigned by Azimuth Inc., a Morgantown engineering firm, and is currently being tested by Lea & Elliot, a third-party independent validation and verification firm.
"At present, we are about halfway through the verification process and hope to have the initial VCCS arrive at the PRT in mid-September," Jeffrey said.
Eleven new VCCS will be installed during the first phase of the project, with the remaining 61 to be replaced during the second phase with an overall cost of $3.6 million.
Another two-phase design, build and install project a will be the upgraded PRT Propulsion System. Like the VCCS conversion, the propulsion system will switch from analog to digital control and communication to improve reliability.
"The PRT has just signed a contract with Bombardier of Pittsburgh to build a prototype, and we hope to have an initial propulsion system by August 2011," said Jeffrey.
This is not the action Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist Ken Avidor has recommended for the world's first PRT. In fact, the FTA has done exactly the opposite:
"Time to pull the plug on the WVU PRT boondoggle." -Ken Avidor
If Ken Avidor is going to be consistent, he's going to have to call Barack Obama a gadgetbahner. He's going to have to say Obama is a PRTista just like Michele Bachmann. And we won't have long to wait until Avidor puts this on the web: