WEST HAVEN - It appears the public has not been all aboard with regard to the parking fees at the West Haven train station.
The State Department of Transportation says perhaps one third of the people, who park in the lot every day, choose to ignore the kiosk style parking payment system because they know the state has no enforcement in place.
But, change is coming
Kevin Nursick, a DOT spokesperson, says people essentially stealing their parking spaces started to ramp up in recent months after other local media noted the DOT’s inability to make sure all parkers pay.
It costs $6 per day to park at the West Haven train station, but many choose to ignore the fee.
“By our estimation, it’s about 200 or so violators per day,” said Nursick.
And, with 660 parking spaces in the lot, that’s nearly a third of the lot. So, the DOT has contracted with West Haven Police Department to begin enforcement on Monday May 6.
“It’s $25 per violation and, if you accumulate $250 worth of fines, your car will be towed and impounded, Nursick said.
He notes that, after a number of years of trying, the DOT has finally been given legislative authority to start implementing enforcement protocols at the West Haven train station lot, but not yet.
“There is a lot of bureaucratic, administrative, red tape that needs to be gone through before the DOT can itself get out there and perform enforcement,” said Nursick.
There are kiosks at the station, where you pay for parking by cash, credit or debit and then take your receipt and post it on your dashboard. But some admitted to us off camera they didn’t pay.
“I always pay and I feel like an idiot that I really didn’t have to and that a lot of people,” said John Barry of Norwich.
And one commuter notes the West Haven Train Station entrance signage says commuter parking, but nothing about paying to park.
“You’re used to pulling into a facility like this having a booth or some kind of a ticket dispenser and then you know,” said Brice McLaughlin of Killingworth
But, the state says a gated system and booth would’ve added an additional million dollars or more to the construction cost. Plus, then you must factor annual attendant wages.
The state will pay $400 for every six hours of patrolling of the train station lot the West Haven PD does, but they will soon have a contractor pick to will manage this lot but a daily basis.