Improvements to Transportation and Parking on Campus

Aug. 29, 2022

Fall semester is officially in full swing on Princeton’s campus. We sat down with Charlie Tennyson, director of Transportation and Parking Services, to learn more about the exciting updates to transportation and parking this year, including the opening of Stadium Drive Garage, a brand-new parking structure opened to the campus community on August 29.

First things first – what’s the most important thing for faculty and staff to know at the start of the semester?

You need an active permit – which must match your license plate – to park on campus. All permits have been extended until the end of September, so if you had a permit last year or this summer, you are good to go until we launch renewal in late September. More to come on permits in the next few weeks!

But don’t forget, if you are able to bike, walk, carpool, join a vanpool, or take transit to work, there are cash incentives to skip the permit and Revise Your Ride. I tell everyone I talk to that it’s worth looking into. They’re all great programs with over 1,000 total participants.

View of Princeton Stadium from stairwell in Stadium Drive Garage

What is the biggest change to parking on campus this year?

The biggest and most exciting change is the opening of Stadium Drive Garage on August 29, located at the corner of Faculty Road and Fitzrandolph Road near Princeton Stadium. It’s shiny and brand new, and all staff and faculty with an active permit for any campus lot can park there, so check it out once it opens. We will have free coffee at the garage during the first week of classes to celebrate.

The 1,500-space facility features a spacious, climate-controlled bus shelter with new wayfinding tools and signs that communicate bus arrivals in real time. There are 65 EV chargers in the garage, available for commuters and visitors alike, and a license plate-based gate system that will open automatically for permit holders. Each of these new technologies will require additional testing by TPS that we expect may take several weeks, so thanks in advance for your patience.

The facility also offers tons of covered bike biking. And TigerTransit buses will service the garage frequently with direct service to campus via Washington Road and Nassau Street, arriving every 10 minutes or better during morning and early evening rush hours.

Electric Vehicle Charging in Stadium Drive Garage

The facility was intentionally designed to serve as the gateway for visitors who drive and park on Princeton’s campus, and we think it will be easy to see why. Expect to see a transition in visitor parking from Lot 23 starting now. Beginning in late September, the University’s daily visitor parking will be moved from Lot 23 to Stadium Drive Garage.

Visitor parking will still be free, but registration for a daily permit will be required, either through the TPS website or after parking at the garage to avoid getting a ticket.

As always, no permit will be required to park in most campus lots after 4 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends.

You may have also noticed the new kiosks around campus that feature maps with named neighborhoods that make campus locations easier to find. We will be updating parking lot signage and garage signage in September to reflect the neighborhood scheme. For example: because South Drive has been renamed Theater Drive, West Garage has been renamed Theater Drive Garage. North Garage, located on Prospect Avenue, is now referred to as Prospect Avenue Garage.

What’s new with TigerTransit?

This is the coolest news we have to share – at least in my opinion as a self-professed transportation nerd. The University has purchased 17 New Flyer electric buses to replace all of the buses in our current diesel fleet, which we’re leasing until the new buses are ready. The transition to electric buses represents a small contribution to the University’s carbon reduction goals, but it will be one of the more visible ones. I am also happy to share that once the transition is complete, Princeton will be the first Ivy League institution to own and operate a fully electric transit fleet.

They’re also just really nice buses. They come with state-of-the-art wheelchair positions that require no driver assistance to operate, USB charging, and a really sleek exterior design. And yes, these new vehicles will be smaller (and quieter!) than the large white transit vehicles you see on campus now.

Keep an eye out for the first buses as early as October, with the goal of replacing all of the diesel vehicles with electrics by Commencement. TPS is going to be planning a lot of communication around this transition, including inviting the campus to see and ride on the electric vehicles once our operations team is trained and ready. So, stay tuned.

I almost forgot – we also have new TigerTransit routes that launch August 29. We are doing out best to streamline transit so that waits for buses are shorter and the system is more linear and easier to understand.

Exterior of Stadium Drive Garage

What should I do if I have questions about how these changes will affect my unit or department?

Parking and transportation are important to all of us, and we understand every campus location and department has its nuances. The TPS and Facilities teams are very happy to come meet with departments to share updates, discuss specific issues, and to get your feedback. You can complete this form to indicate your interest in having TPS visit your department at a future staff meeting.

If you have specific questions about parking or permits, Revise Your Ride incentive programs, transit, or any campus mobility topic, you can always contact the Service Point at 609-258-8300 or thepoint@princeton.edu for information.

I always try to offer a reminder that the start of the fall semester is an incredibly exciting but busy time for everyone on campus. Between Move In, campus events, and so many department-wide events and meetings, parking is always very challenging during those first few weeks of the semester. We ask for your patience, and rest assured, TPS will be monitoring the parking situation on campus closely. When in doubt, remember, you’ll always find a space and frequent shuttle service at the new Stadium Drive Garage!