Having experienced it personally, I can attest that commuting to New York City by train from a suburb in New Jersey can be a nightmare.
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When I did it in late 2008 and early 2009, I had to take a taxi every morning from my house in Edison, N.J. to the local train station due to lack of adequate parking there, just so I could catch a train to the city. All those taxi rides weren't exactly cheap, but they were pretty much my only option, outside of parking illegally and racking up tickets on the daily.
Fortunately, for residents of nearby Summit, N.J., the situation might soon improve. No, the city has not built a new, multimillion-dollar parking lot to handle commuters' cars. Instead, the city will subsidize Uber rides for residents traveling to and from the local train station, according to BuzzFeed.
City Administrator Michael Rogers told the news outlet that when he took office a year ago, "most everyone complained to him about parking" at the train station, so he knew he had to do something. He explained that, like in Edison, Summit commuters often spend 15 to 20 minutes driving around the station in the hopes of finding a paid parking spot.
Now, as part of a six-month pilot program, 100 Summit residents a day will able to take an Uber to the station for $2 each way — the same price as an all-day parking permit. The deal with Uber will reportedly cost Summit about $167,000 annually.
Freeing up 100 parking spaces "is pretty significant in our system," Rogers tells BuzzFeed.
Uber says "the program may be expanded if proven successful." Summit residents can apply online.
As BuzzFeed notes, Uber has a similar deal in Altamonte Springs, Fla. just outside of Orlando. The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) in St. Petersburg is also helping people get to bus stops with low-cost rides.