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KU TRI Schedules Talk on Personal Rapid Transit

Monday, October 13, 2008

[Hugh Kierig, director of transit and parking at the University of West Virginia]

A presentation on transportation and research efforts will be given by Hugh Kierig, AICP, on Oct. 23 at the Spahr Engineering Classroom as part of the Emerging Challenges in Transportation lecture series at the University of Kansas.

The presentation, “The History and Future of Personal Rapid Transit in the United States,” is open to students, faculty and the public, and begins at 3:30 p.m. in 2 Eaton Hall. It’s sponsored by the KU Transportation Research Institute (KU TRI) and the Mid-America Transportation Center, a consortium of several Midwest university transportation centers.

Kierig is the director of Parking and Transportation at West Virginia University and a certified planner through the American Institute of Certified Planners. He previously held positions at Oklahoma State University and as president of KA Associates, a transit and parking consultant firm based in Kansas City, Mo.

West Virginia University is home to the only Personal Rapid Transit system in the United States. The system connects the university’s campuses with an 8.2-mile system that uses a guideway and a fleet of fully automated vehicles to allow students to avoid the hassle of parking and traffic by simply swiping a card at one of five passenger stations. The PRT system is built into student fees and tuition, and is considered the easiest and fastest mode of transportation on the WVU campus for more than 30 years.

Kierig currently is overseeing construction of a $16-million intermodal transportation center on the WVU campus in Morgantown, W.Va. The center will include bus terminals, waiting areas, bicycle storage and shower facilities for travelers. There also is a plan to build a parking garage that would include a direct connection to the PRT.

[West Virginia University's Personal Rapid Transit System]

KU TRI serves as a host for visiting scholars from the United States and abroad to facilitate cooperative research and information exchange. The institute also sponsors conferences and colloquia to disseminate research results.

There will be refreshments served after the presentation in the Locke Atrium of Eaton Hall.

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