Morgantown, West Virginia

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Morgantown PRT at Beechurst Avenue Station. Photo collection of David Pirmann.


The "Personal Rapid Transit" (PRT) at West Virginia University is a unique automated transit system servicing the city of Morgantown, WV, and the campuses of WVU. Funded by the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA) and designed and built by Boeing-Vertol Corporation, the system first carried passengers in October, 1975. Rather than trains operating on fixed routes with intermediate stations, the PRT is comprised of 75 rubber-tired autonomous vehicles, which operate point-to-point based on rider demand during peak periods, or "circulation mode" (stopping at each station) during off-peak times. The 1975 Phase I of the project included three stations (Walnut, Beechurst, and Engineering); 1979's Phase II expansion included two more stations (Towers, Medical Center). The UMTA planned the PRT as a demonstration project, and it remains the first and only large scale PRT system in the United States.

Facts and Figures

  • Number of vehicles: 72 (45 built in 1974; 27 built in 1978-1979)
  • Number of vehicles required for peak service: 55
  • Rider Capacity: 8 seated/13 standing
  • Vehicle Dimensions: 15'-6" long x 6'-8" wide x 8'-9" high
  • Vehicle Weight: 8,750 lbs empty
  • Propulsion System: one 70 HP 420 VDC traction motor
  • Average mileage of vehicle per year: 20,000 miles
  • Total length of track, or "guideway": 8.7 miles


  • Walnut
  • Beechurst
  • Engineering
  • Towers
  • Medical Center

The main maintenance facility is located midway between the Beechurst and Engineering Stations and was opened in 1974 with Phase I of the PRT project. The facility has maintenance bays accessible by powered tracks and unpowered storage areas. A smaller maintenance facility, which opened in 1979 with Phase II of the PRT project, is located between the Engineering and Towers stations.


Map of the West Virginia University PRT.

Photo Gallery

Five Random Images

Image 160506

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Collection of: David Pirmann

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Collection of: David Pirmann

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Collection of: David Pirmann

Image 160509

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Collection of: David Pirmann

Image 160510

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Collection of: David Pirmann

More Images: 1-6


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