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Old 12-24-2009, 05:42 AM
 
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Hello! I have been browsing your forum since I first got a job interview in Fairfield, CT and now that they've made an official offer, I have a few questions about the logistics of commuting to CT from NYC and was hoping some of you local experts could help.

I currently live in manhattan and have a nice short commute to Grand Central. We are not ready/able to move out of NYC just yet due to my fiancé's job so I will be the one doing the metro north commute, for at least the next few years.

The job is at one of the universities in Fairfield (the one that is farther from the metro north station). I believe it is about 15 min drive north/east of the Fairfield train station. Google maps suggests it is 12 min north/west of the Bridgeport station.

My question is basically about how to get from the train station to campus... One option I'm looking at is buying a used car to leave at the station overnight and on weekends and just use it to drive the 15min back and forth. My concerns with this option are parking. I know there is a multiple-year-long waiting list for parking at the Fairfield station. Does anyone have suggestions on if there is street parking nearby? I walk a mile each way to work right now so a little distance is no problem but of course adds time. I think the situation is made more difficult by the fact that I will ideally be working something like 9:30am-4:30pm and so would arrive back in the station before anyone had gotten home from their commute to NYC so everything will still be full.

Another option I read about here was to take the train to a different station and drive from there. I am thinking Brdgeport is the most obvious choice but I wasn't sure - is there a stop before Fairfield that has garage parking and the shorter train + longer drive would balance out? Is there a secure area at/near the Bridgeport station where I could be comfortable leaving the car overnight all the time? How hard is it to get a spot there?

The last option on the table is actually to try and find a regular car service... Between the cost of car payments, insurance, parking, gas, etc. I am wondering if the cost may actually balance out. Am I crazy to even consider it? Does anyone have suggestions on where I could find a company that might be able to make a regular, long-term arrangement?

Thank you in advance for your help - I have less than 2 weeks to decide on the job offer and sorting out the commute is one of my primary concerns.
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:04 AM
 
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I forgot to ask if there is maybe a city bus or something I could take? As far as I can tell the school does not run a shuttle.
Thanks again!
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:50 AM
 
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If it's Sacred Heart you're referring to, then there is a bus from Bridgeport that will get you there. GBTA Route 4 leaves every 1/2 hour from the downtown bus station (adjacent to the train station) and takes about 20 minutes to get to SHU.
Route 4 Timetable
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:02 AM
 
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Thanks, Silli. I am less excited about the bus option just because of a past experience working in Westchester.... the buses never seem to line up with the train times and so I ended up having a lot of wasted time waiting (in the cold) and also it took longer, had few seats, etc etc.
it is good to know there is an option though, in case I can't get anything else sorted out!
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Westchester County, NY
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Is there a possibility of her keeping her job and you both just living in between and she has a bit of a longer commute on Metro North while you just drive? I recently started commuting to a p/t position that is like your hours (8:45-3) that is sometimes in Trumbull and sometimes in Bridgeport from southern Westchester and it wasn't as bad traffic-wise as I expected (somewhat 'reverse commuting' I guess), I usually get there in about 40-45 minutes. Either you could live way down (using Metro North like Pelham or New Rochelle....you might want to post something on the NY/Westchester subforum about this) or a little further up (like Rye in Westchester or Greenwich or Stamford in CT). The housing is VERY expensive but since you already live in Manhattan it might not seem so bad to you.

Good luck! By the way, when I'm working in Bridgeport instead of Trumbull I sometimes take the Merritt to Park Ave. (as opposed to 95 into town) and pass Sacred Heart and I see their shuttle buses going up and down that street all the time as well as the GBTA buses.
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:20 AM
 
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We'll certainly be looking to move out to CT at some point and then he would metro north into the city while I drive to work but that's a few years down the road. I don't mind the long time on the train, I love metro north and like that I can get grading and things done instead of being stuck in traffic. Just trying to figure out how to manage the non-train leg.
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Westchester County, NY
10,776 posts, read 17,431,755 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCnyc View Post
We'll certainly be looking to move out to CT at some point and then he would metro north into the city while I drive to work but that's a few years down the road. I don't mind the long time on the train, I love metro north and like that I can get grading and things done instead of being stuck in traffic. Just trying to figure out how to manage the non-train leg.
I have to admit you'd be reverse commuting and a bit past rush hour so I may be wrong on this, but while it still beats driving in traffic, I don't know how much grading you'll get to do. A long time ago (late 80s/early 90s) I commuted from Mt. Vernon to the City on Metro North and it was standing room only and I could see then that there were a significant amount of reverse commuters waiting for the trains up to CT (I was on the New Haven line), which I imagine has only increased now. Even if you get a seat, you might find it a bit cramped to do any "brain work" and end up just reading the paper or something.

Again, except that I'm not sure if you rent vs. own and it would take time to sell the place, I would probably not wait a few years to think about moving, though if you can find a way to do it as is I'd probably wait a year, maybe 2 to see that the job completely works out and sticks (you never know in these times).
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Old 12-26-2009, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
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You might find out if the university offers a shuttle to and from the station. Some places do. The buses in Bridgeport are pretty good. They built a new station and reorganized the bus schedule so the buses are on time almost always. As noted the bus station is right next to the train station so it should not be an issue. Jay
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Old 12-27-2009, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Trumbull, CT
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Like JayCT mentioned I am pretty sure Sacred Heart University offers a shuttle bus from both the main Fairfield train station and Bridgeport train station. I would find out from the University what the schedule is. Good Luck!
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Old 12-27-2009, 06:38 PM
 
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Thanks for your help, everyone. It looks like which option works best is going to depend on my teaching schedule which will drive which train I have to take. Unfortunately, the gbta bus looks like it won't line up well in the mornings (train gets in 2 min after a bus leaves, have to wait 20-30 min for next bus). It might work in the afternoon. Still working on figuring out the campus schedule. I did also find a cab company out of Fairfield that could do a monthly deal for probably less than buying/parking/maintaining a car would be, so that's good, too.

Last edited by JCnyc; 12-27-2009 at 07:49 PM..
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