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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 from New Canaan, Norwalk, Westport, Fairfield, and the Black Rock section of Bridgeport. When I was completing my Ph.D. at Columbia University, I drove my car, but when I began working in mid-town, commuting by train was easier and more productive (thanks to laptop computers).
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, I'm summarizing the wait list situation of several popular commuting towns:
Darien - wait is about 7 years, town has no plans to expand parking at present
Fairfield - has three stations, including the new Fairfield Metro station within a mile radius of most residents Black Rock - wait list is down to 2 years due to the new Fairfield Metro station - more parking spaces are planned on Hentry Carter Drive for the downtown train station - day parking is readily available at the Fairfield Metro station, but scarce at the downtown Fairfield station
Rowayton (part of Norwalk) - wait of 1 year or less
Stratford - waiting list of 770 for half that number in spaces, next person in line has been on wait list since 2007
Westport - wait is about 4-5 years
Best Towns for Commuters Needing Parking
Based on the information above the Rowayton section of Norwalk, Fairfield, 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 and has easy access to the newest train station.
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