Best Towns to Commute to NYC from Connecticut
The shoreline towns in Connecticut closest to the New York border offer the shortest commuting times to New York City, whether by car or train. Most commuters prefer to use the train rather than drive into the city, but I have done both over the years. I've commuted by train from New Canaan, Norwalk, Westport, and Fairfield.
If you are thinking of moving to Connecticut and commuting to Manhattan, you'll want to consider not just the train ride itself, but also the wait list for the train station parking lot. Based on information compiled from two articles, "Train commuters cope with parking shortage" by John Christoffersen of Associated Press in the 7/9/12 edition of the Connecticut Post and "Fairfield Metro Shrinks Town Parking List" in the 4/4/12 edition of the Fairfield Daily Voice. Additional information on each station can be found at the South Western Regional Planning Association (SWRPA) website I'm summarizing the wait list situation of several popular commuting towns:
Darien - has two train stations - Noroton Heights and Darien - the wait is about 7 years, the town has no plans to expand parking at present. Day parking is $3/day and the annual permit is $345/year for both stations. For more information visit:
Fairfield - has three stations, including the new Fairfield Metro station within a mile radius of most residents Black Rock.
Downtown - wait list is 3 years - more parking spaces are planned on Hentry Carter Drive for the downtown train station - day parking is scarce, but $6 a day, if you can find it. The annual fees will increase for parking at the downtown railroad station from $380 to $390 this year.
Fairfield Metro - day parking is readily available for $6/day at the Fairfield Metro station. Permits cost $420 per year (6 month permits). The parking lot is run by the State of Connecticut and there is currently NO WAIT LIST. Just e-mail Fusco Management at firstname.lastname@example.org
Southport - wait list is three years. Day parking is very limited $6/day. Fees will increase from $260 to $275 this year.
Norwalk - has four stations, East Norwalk, Merritt 7, Rowayton, South Norwalk.
East Norwalk - $516/year.
Merritt 7 - free, 86 spaces (no permit required)
Rowayton (part of Norwalk) - wait of 1 year or less. Annual parking fees are $325. Daily parking fees are $7/day. Some municipalities allow commuters to renew a permit by mail, but those seeking a permit for the station in the Rowayton section of Norwalk have to show up on a specified date and get in line as permits are handed out on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information contact:
Sixth Taxing District
South Norwalk (part of Norwalk) - permit fees are the most costly of all the stations at $1,080 per year. Daily rate is $9/day. For more information contact the Parking Authority, City of Norwalk (203) 854-7736
Stratford - waiting list of 770 for half that number in spaces, next person in line has been on wait list since 2007. Sign ups for permits can be done online.
Westport - has two stations - Westport/Saugatuck and Greens Farms. Between 2008 and 2010, the total number of applicants on the waiting list for parking permits grew 35 percent from 1,850 to 2,500. During that period, the estimated time spent by applicants on the waiting list increased from four years to five years. Parking fee at both stations is $325/year and day parking is $5/day. Permits are handled by the Westport Police Department.
Best Towns for Commuters Needing Parking
Based on the information above the Rowayton section of Norwalk, Fairfield's Greens Farms and Southport area, and the Black Rock section of Bridgeport offer the best commuting options. Rowayton is a lovely seaside village in Norwalk, Fairfield is a large town the size of Bridgeport with beaches and a vibrant downtown area, and Black Rock is another lovely seaside village situated on the border of Fairfield and Bridgeport. Of the three locations, Rowayton is the priciest, then Fairfield. Black Rock is the most affordable of the three communities to live in and has easy access to the newest train station as well as ample day parking and NO WAIT LIST for permit parking.
If you haven't heard of Black Rock, you should take a quick look. It may be your best commuting option to New York City given the ample Day Parking, short wait for permit parking, and express trains that take just over an hour. Check out Black Rock at www.blackrockhomesforsale.com