OYSTER BAY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The commute for rail passengers in one Long Island town is about to get a whole lot pricier.
Oyster Bay wants to charge Long Island Rail Road passengers one hundred dollars a month for a guaranteed parking spot as part of what the town is calling a “premium parking spot lottery.”
As part of the program, passengers shell out $100 a month and are guaranteed a space near the station entrances at Hicksville, Massapequa, Syosset, and Bethpage — four of the busiest town owned parking lots.
The town says there is a definite need for the program — riders have complained that they can circle for hours looking for a spot, even if they arrive before the daily rush.
According to officials, this plan would reserve 852 spots.
Most commuters are opposed to the increased cost.
“I don’t feel like paying extra money, I pay enough now,” said one woman.
“Already paying a monthly pass just to take the train, now they want us to pay more?” Syosset commuter Joe Gianni said.
Still, there were some who thought the extra cash was well worth it.
“$100 doesn’t seem like that month,” Hicksville commuter Brendan Peralt said. “It makes your day pretty convenient, parking can be a pain in the butt.”
CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reports that in zone 7 — where the four town stations are located — a monthly rail pass is $287. The extra $100 a month would be tacked on to that, raising questions regarding what to do about those who can’t afford the extra charge.
Oyster Bay is also discussing whether to raise rates for all parking patrons at town owned lots. Two year passes currently cost $20.
“I think it’s robbery,” said one commuter.
The extra money would be a welcomed relief to the financially struggling town which currently owns a junk-status credit rating from Standard & Poor’s.
Officials tell CBS2 the proposed program is not about raising revenue — rather, it’s a means to handle the limited amount of available parking.