February 1, 2023

NJ Transit Proposes to Make Public Transit Convenient to Ride

To the Editor:

The 2021 Princeton Mobility Survey shows that while very few Princeton residents get around town by bus, about half of the respondents said they would, if the bus were more convenient. This is good news for a town that wants to reduce its carbon emissions from transportation! A big part of that convenience is frequent service; another important factor is that it should not take too long to get to desired destinations. People most often say they want bus stops at the Dinky and Princeton Junction, the central business district, the Princeton Shopping Center, and most of all, “near my house.” In addition, multiple survey respondents said they would like to see a safe bike path alongside the Dinky. The survey report can be downloaded from princetonnj.gov.

NJ Transit’s concept proposal for the Dinky upgrade meets these needs. The core of the proposal is an upgrade of the service between Princeton and Princeton Junction stations to light rail; this is augmented by a bus line that reaches deep into town. The service will be frequent: every 6-10 minutes between the stations, every 15 minutes for the bus. Buses and trains will be electric, ADA-compliant, and equipped with Wi-Fi. NJ Transit proposes that buses get preferential green light at signaled intersections so they can remain on schedule. As for all NJ Transit trains and buses, schedules are easily accessible via Google maps, the NJ Transit app, or the Moovit app; both apps have real-time vehicle tracking. In response to public input, NJ Transit’s concept plan includes a walk and bike path alongside the Dinky that will give a truly safe connection across Route 1. (Yes, you “can” bike on Washington Road or Alexander Road — no, it’s not safe).

This proposal offers a realistic, practical way for commuters and visitors to get into and out of Princeton without their car, which will make Princeton’s streets safer and less congested, and bring welcome relief to the competition for parking space. It will bring health benefits and strengthen our community. So let’s make sure the upgrade gets built: ask your representatives at local, county, state, and federal levels to support funding it. Stay abreast of the developments and additional opportunities for public input at friendsoftheDinkycorridor.com.

Tineke Thio
Dempsey Avenue

Jessica Wilson
Lawrence Drive