September 21, 2022

An Expanded eCommuter Fest Moves to Choir College Campus

By Anne Levin

During the pandemic, Sustainable Princeton’s eCommuter Fest drew crowds of up to 600 people to Princeton Shopping Center, eager to examine electric vehicles and learn about how to get around without damaging the environment. With the easing of COVID, the latest rendition of the festival — taking place Friday, September 30 on the Westminster Choir College campus — is likely to be even more popular.

This year’s ride and drive event, which moved from the shopping center because of construction there, celebrates the latest in carbon-free commuter technology. It will begin with an opening statement. Raffles and prizes will be offered.

Test drives of some of the latest models of e-bikes and electric vehicles will be available. Local electric car and bike owners will be on hand to answer questions, and a free bicycle valet will provide temporary racks for those who attend on bikes.

“We are expanding this year to provide more than just electric vehicles,” said Christine Symington, executive director of Sustainable Princeton. “There will be more types of sustainable transportation. There will be more e-bikes. There will be folks to talk about public transit options. Someone from the [Princeton] University’s transportation office will talk about how folks in town can use Tiger Transit, which is being transitioned to electric, for free. Everyone is so shocked when they learn that it’s free for everyone. People should be aware of that resource.”

A representative from PSE&G will be on hand to answer questions about the utility’s incentives for installing charging equipment at home. The Princeton High School Bike Club will do tune-ups for bikes. The Sustainable Jazz Duo will perform, and ice cream donated by the bent spoon will be sold for a small donation.  The Thai Cha Chak food truck will also be on hand.

As in the past, NRG is sponsoring the event. There is limited parking for cars at Westminster, so people are encouraged to attend by either walking or biking. “It is a very walkable, bike-able location,” said Symington. “We’re hoping that’s what people will do.”

With increased awareness of the importance of sustainable transportation, a healthy turnout is expected. “Folks are more keenly aware of just how critical transportation is to meeting our climate action reduction goals,” Symington said. “It is a third of our community’s emissions, so we have to move away from fossil fuel. More people understand that biking and walking are preferred.”