Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber will give his annual update to the Princeton governing body tonight, Dec. 14. The meeting, which will be held at 7 p.m. at the former borough hall at 1 Monument Drive, is open to the public.
Public comment has been scheduled for less than 15 minutes at the start of the meeting after the mayor makes remarks. After Eisgruber’s remarks, there will be a discussion with the Princeton Council. No public comment is scheduled for after Eisgruber’s remarks.
At the Princeton Council meeting last week, resident Kip Cherry called on the governing body to press Princeton University officials on the Dinky train ridership promotion plan that was promised in the memorandum of understanding between the town and the school regarding the Dinky.
“We still have no plan and of course no plan has been implemented,” Cherry said, adding that developing and implementing the Dinky promotion plan is not optional.
“It is specifically called for in the MOU signed by the University and the Borough and the Township in 2011,” she said, quoting the following points from the agreement:
Section 2 – Upon approval of this agreement, the University will work together with Princeton Borough and Township to encourage NJT to provide additional Dinky services, including off-peak hours and weekend hours.
Section 3 – Upon approval of this agreement, the University will work with the municipalities and local merchants to develop a formal plan to promote Dinky ridership, including but not limited to discounts at McCarter Theater, athletic events and local stores and restaurants.
Section 7 on TigerTransit – The University will immediately develop a public relations program, in conjunction with Princeton Borough and Township, including signage and other forms of promotion.
Cherry said she does not have figures for August and September yet, but as of July ridership was still down 13 percent over the same period a year ago.
“We need to make sure that folks who were using the Dinky, come back and that new commuters become regular users. Ideally I’d like to see us persuade some or all of those Princetonians who over time have started renting spaces at the Junction, to come back to the Dinky. We need to not only close the 13 percent gap, but we need to double ridership on the Dinky and demonstrate the town’s and the University’s commitments to sustainability,” Cherry said.
“Let’s prepare and implement a real Dinky Ridership Promotion Plan as was agreed to in the MOU and make sure that the Dinky prospers as it should,” she said. “This was to be a benefit of signing the MOU. Let’s get the job done.”