Local officials applaud train parking task force

FAIRFIELD - Local officials are applauding Gov. Jodi Rell?s efforts to create a task force to improve parking along the New Haven rail line.

In Fairfield, officials say the wait for a parking permit is at least three and a half years and about 3,500 residents are waiting for a space.

Fairfield and Stamford are the most heavily used train stations in Fairfield County and in the state. The high demand for spots has prompted the building of a new train station in the area.

Officials say they are a year and a half away from finishing the project and 1,500 additional spaces will be built.

Fairfield First Selectman Ken Flatto says once the project is complete, much of the parking burden will be alleviated.

Many legislators say Gov. Rell?s commitment to forming a task force to help improve mass transit across the state is an added plus.

With Gov. Rell?s support, Stratford officials are hoping their project to build three garages will soon become a reality.The garages would mean an additional 486 parking spaces to supplement the current number of 296 in the train station's parking lot. More than 1,400 people are on a waiting list for a space.Officials say they believe it will currently take three years to finish building the garages because they have only received $13 million of the $29 million needed. Stratford officials say they are also waiting on approvals from the Department of Transportation.Stratford Mayor James Miron's chief administrative officer says she is optimistic that Rell's task force will help get the project completed.Gov. Rell says the task force will be finished with its review in a few months and from there the state can start discussing improvements.

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