NBC 4 New York
If the town of Huntington gets what it wants, commuters will face a 12-fold increase in what they pay to park before taking the LIRR to work. Roseanne Colletti reports
Park-and-ride customers who take the Long Island Rail Road from Huntington attended a hearing to sound off on a proposed 1,200-percent spike on parking costs at the lot.
Under the proposal, a parking permit at one of the municipal lots or garages around the Huntington train station could go from $50 a year to $600. Town officials said the money is needed to cover $4 million worth of structural repairs.
Currently, parking is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Under Town Supervisor Frank Petrone's plan, the town would issue just 1,900 garage parking permits, one for each of the spaces. That would raise more than $1 million a year toward repairs without hiking taxes. Residents who park outdoors would pay just $25 more for a total of $75 per year.
Commuters at the hearing Tuesday didn't think the plan would help the town meet its goals.
"A lot of people are not going to pay it, and you're not going to have enough open-air slots for commuters," said Steve Dombrower of Greenlawn. "They're just not going to be there."
Townships closest to Huntington such as Oyster Bay, Babylon and Smithtown charge residents much less or not at all for parking near the train station.