When Buses (May) Replace Rail: Princeton's Dinky Line

It's the nation's shortest commuter route, less than 3 miles with no intermediary stops. The train composed of two electrified cars, with presidential history in its 145 years. If Princeton University has its way, it will soon be replaced by a bus.

Technically know as the Princeton Branch, amongst locals as the Dinky Line for the name of the single Budd Arrow III self-propelled electric coach that connects Princeton University to Princeton Junction, it is up to New Jersey Transit to decide if a bus will replace it.

"The bus makes sense in transportation terms, said Mr. Reed, a former mayor of Princeton borough, but he argued that it would also allow the borough and the university to sidestep their long impasse over the school's planned arts complex. The university wants to move the Dinky station 460 feet farther south to make room for the complex, but the borough is resisting that idea because it would make the station a longer walk from town.

Townspeople keen to preserve the train have flocked to a "Save the Princeton Dinky" Facebook group.

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."

Correspondent's Notes:
*Do note confuse this line with Florida's 6-mile Dinky Line, 1889-1969.

*Should the university be successful, it will have to shorten its "Mass Transit Travel Options" included on its "Traveling To Princeton" page in its Parents Handbook.

Thanks to NYT Alerts - commuting-transit

Full Story: Princeton Journal: Dinky or Bus? A Town Is Torn



Not the University's Plan...

This article implies that Princeton University wants to replace the Dinky with a BRT when actually it's the town and the state that want to do that. The BRT proposal is coming from NJ Transit, NJ DOT, and the Princeton Regional Planning Board (chaired by Marvin Reed). The university has not proposed doing away with the train, simply moving it. The local transit authorities are using the conflict over moving the station as an opportunity to push their BRT agenda forward.

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