To the Editor:
A recent news story titled “Is the Dinky best for the Dinky line” (Princeton Echo, 12/26/18) deserves brief remark. Yes, Dinky service isn’t perfect and needs improvement, and yes the new station could use some doable improvements such as holders for paper schedules, improved handicapped accessibility, more flexible seating arrangements, and the relocation of the historic exhibit into the new station complex so that kids can see it without going into a bar. But let’s step back and reflect on the institutional environment that has gotten us this far.
Significantly, despite the negativity surrounding the Dinky, there has been and continues to be private sector interest, the best possible vote of confidence in its future. To be clear, yes, there are people willing to put their money where their mouth is: for example, I am aware of an investor group with extensive railroad experience interested in operating the Dinky service with purpose-built equipment, along with additional stops and increased frequency. But they are not interested in investing in a political quagmire, and such initiatives will continue to go nowhere as long as the basic question of New Jersey Transit’s governance stands in the way. So, let’s take the Governor at his word, that change at New Jersey Transit is coming, and let’s make that change work to our benefit.
While not presuming to speak for the entire Princeton community, as the former mayor of Princeton Borough who directed the planning of New Jersey Transit’s successful Newark Airport Station and whose grandfather launched a 100-year old livery business from the 19th century Dinky station at the base of Blair Arch, I remain a loyal Dinky rider and feel compelled to ask: New Jersey Transit if you are not prepared to operate the Dinky as it should be, could you please step aside and let someone else try?
Former mayor, Princeton Borough