Parking available for rail commuters in Fairfield?

Despite the prevailing impression there are waiting lists that are years-long for a place to park at one of the three local stations, that actually is not the case -- at least at the Fairfield Metro station off lower Black Rock Turnpike and Kings Highway East.

Fairfield Metro, which opened in December 2011, has yet to sell the full complement of parking permits for its lot, which has roughly 1,500 slots.

The state Department of Transportation, which controls the Fairfield Metro depot -- the two other local rail stations are managed by the town's Parking Authority -- is stepping up efforts to fill the lot.

Under a new DOT initiative, commuters interested in buying available parking permits at Fairfield Metro, or the Bridgeport station garage, where spots are also available, can contact CTrides to learn more about the options and pricing.

DOT officials say there are up to 500 parking spaces combined at the two stations, even though most other stations along Metro-North's New Haven Line have waiting lists.

Fairfield Metro rates are $6 per day or six-month passes are available for $210 (Jan. 1 through June 30 and July 1 through Dec. 31).

To find out more, call 1-877-CTrides (287-4337) or check http://www.ctrides.com