A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Commuting to NYC From Aberdeen

Even though there's a perfectly good train station in Aberdeen, it has a difficult parking situation, so I've settled into the routine of driving to Metropark to park in their daily lot and catch the Northeast Corridor Line train. It's a shorter train ride and the cheaper fare covers about half of the $5 daily parking fee. And the drive, while harrowing during the morning rush with so many veteran Jersey drivers heading to work, is usually only about twenty minutes door to door. It isn't a perfect solution, but Aberdeen residents don't have many options when it comes to riding the train.

Check out the City-Data bulletin board for an accurate description of the parking situation at Matawan Aberdeen train station. The wait list for a parking permit is said to be seven years long, but I think they are so cheap yet so valuable that people pass their permits down in their wills or sublet them at a markup. Private parking has been a boon to local residents, who pave their lots and open their driveways to charge commuters to park. For some of those residents it pays their mortgage. It's a totally outrageous situation.

I figure that local government doesn't want to add parking garages -- there's plenty of room to build them -- because it would attract a huge flow of cars into town and congest local roads. There's an old southbound railbed that could probably be used for a train station access road, but it would disturb the backyard calm of a lot of local residences so that will never happen.

A large construction project has been in the works which would revitalize the station and supposedly improve the parking situation, but you'll note that it is right on the Garden State Parkway, which passes not far from the train station, so it keeps those cars off local streets. A law suit was settled in July according to the Bayshore Independent. An August article in the same paper says the project, which has been in the works for six or seven years, is back at square one. And it makes no mention of parking.

The Suburban, an Old Bridge paper, suggested in an August 2001 article that NJ Transit is proposing construction of a station in Laurence Harbor to divert the Old Bridge residents from using the Aberdeen Matawan station. The article said the station was at least five years away, but it's been eight years and I've heard nothing more about that idea.

The Asbury Park Press had a January 2007 article about the station's routine. It discusses the parking situation and commuter congestion. The Matawan Advocate recently pointed out that the old station house is getting a bit of a facelift. The On-Track-On-Line bulletin board provides a brief discussion of the paint job as well.

Gotta go to work now.


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