The newly constructed Dinky train station running between Princeton and Princeton Junction will begin operating 460 feet south of its original location on Nov. 17, according to a University press release.
The Wawa convenience store will be relocated next to the new station on Alexander Street and will open its doors four days later without service interruptions.
In preparation for the new station’s opening, the Dinky line will be closed and temporarily replaced by the University’s free TigerPaWW bus service from Monday, Nov. 10, to Sunday, Nov. 16, at noon.
“The train is an important transportation link for both campus and the local community, and I think it’s great to reach this milestone and to have the new multimodal transit hub open for operation,” University Director of Community and Regional AffairsKristin Appelget said.
“I’m pleased to have the Dinky station just a little bit closer to town again,” Princeton councilwoman Jo Butler said. “I’m delighted that it’s going to be opening.”
The new station will include an air-conditioned and heated waiting room, restrooms, information kiosks and bike racks. Appelget said the Wawa’s proximity to the station will be an additional convenience for passengers.
Construction on the Dinky line began in the spring of 2013 as part of the University’s Arts and Transit Project, a $330 million development involving new arts buildings, dining services, transportation facilities and other amenities.
A series of lawsuits has been filed by locals against the University for moving the historic Dinky station and allegedly hurting ridership.
A temporary station 1,200 feet south of the original Dinky platform opened in August 2013, and a new roundabout, commuter parking lot and crosswalk infrastructure were launched as the first phase of the project last February.
Appelget said both phases were completed on time and extended her compliments to the project team for their efforts.
Butler said she did not hear many complaints from locals about the temporary station and said she believes that most people were willing to adapt to the new structure.
“The University worked very, very hard to accommodate everyone,” Butler said, citing the temporary TigerPaWW bus system as an alternative option for commuters.
Although Butler said the new station is undoubtedly less convenient because of its location, she thinks locals might be swayed by the improved amenities.
Appelget said she disagrees with speculations that the station’s relocation will reduce Dinky ridership and said she believes the multimodal transportation enabled through the new complex, including the TigerTransit bus stop, a bike rental program and taxis, will attract commuters.
She added that local residents have told her that the station is much more visible from Alexander Street and closer to the station’s former location than they had expected.
The Arts and Transit Neighborhood is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2017, with a pizzeria-style cafe planned to open for the summer of 2015 and a restaurant scheduled to open in the fall of 2016.
An opening ceremony for the new station will be held on Nov. 25 at 1:15 p.m.