The local paper has a story on a completely local item, namely the shuttle train from the downtown Princeton train station to the Princeton Junction train station. To take the train from Princeton to New York or Philadelphia you have to get yourself to the Princeton Junction (which, to add to the confusion, has Princeton address. Seventeen areas not in the Borough or the Township have Princeton address since “Princeton” is perceived as a prestige location. Prestige or not, it ain’t cheap).
The shuttle is called the Dinky. It’s been around for 145 years. Here’s what it looks like:
(photo from the Save the Princeton Dinky Facebook page)
What happens is that Princeton University, which owns the land where the Dinky is located, wants to build an Arts Neighborhood, and doesn’t want the the Dinky, so they want to replace it with buses. Then there’s NJ Transit,
For one thing, New Jersey Transit, which operates the train, has raised Dinky fares and cut off-peak service, much as it has done with other trains and buses in these tight economic times. It has also consulted with local and university officials on a proposal to pave over the Dinky’s tracks and install a bus system that would extend through the whole town. Such a system, supporters say, could reach more people, run more frequently than the Dinky and even ease a dispute that has long delayed the establishment of a university arts complex.
Not a good idea. Any of us who have been stuck on traffic between Princeton Junction and Princeton trying to get across Route 1 don’t want to be on streets – particularly in bad weather.
It’s not as if no one is relying on the Dinky. As the NY Times article, Dinky or Bus? A Town Is Torn, reported,
But if these are the Dinky’s final days, one might not immediately sense it from riding the train. On a recent weekday morning, most of the seats in the Dinky’s one open car were filled with commuters sharing newspapers and conversation.
Never mind the “newspapers and conversation”; when you take the Dinky late at night, it’s full to capacity.
As it happens, there already bus service through the Borough, which is rarely used at all by passengers. Taxpayer money, empty buses.
Today’s Town Topics states (no link available yet)
Official discussions about the fate of the Dinky will take place at a Princeton Future meeting on Saturday, September 25 from 9 to 11AM in the Community Room of the Princeton Public Library. It will also be on the agenda of the Princeton Regional Planning Board’s Thursday, September 30 meeting, which will be held from 7:30 to 9 pm in the main meeting room of the Township municipal building.
Considering how those two agencies have rubber-stamped anything the University wishes, let’s hope those of us who want to save the Dinky get our wish, for a change.
Fox News report,