Fairfield Metro (Metro-North station)
The Metro-North Fairfield Metro station
|Location||61 Constant Comment Way
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Connections||Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority: 5, 7|
|Opened||December 5, 2011|
|Electrified||12,500V (AC) overhead catenary|
Fairfield Metro is a 1,100,000-square-foot (100,000 m2) commercial development and regional commuter rail station situated on 35 acres (140,000 m2) in the town of Fairfield, Connecticut. The in-fill station, located 1.8 miles (2.9 km) east of Fairfield station along Metro-North's New Haven Line, opened in December 2011.
As the station neared completion, a debate emerged within the surrounding community concerning the name of the station. The station was named "Fairfield Metro" as indicated by signs on the station platforms. This was the name preferred by the developer of the surrounding site, Blackrock Realty, and was the one being used by the state. Fairfield residents, however, called the name bland. First Selectman Kenneth Flatto noted that the Town would prefer something different, and an online survey was posted asking residents of the town and surrounding areas to voice their opinions. Popular suggestions included: Black Rock, Black Rock Turnpike, Ash Creek, and Grasmere, among others. The state had the final word in naming the station and could choose to follow or disregard the town's recommendations. To meet the opening deadline of November 2011, a name had to be chosen by February 2010. The final name of Fairfield Metro was announced on March 18, 2011.
In late December 2009, State Senator John P. McKinney and Governor Jodi Rell announced a bond authorization for $20 million wherein the state would assume the developer's obligation for infrastructure work and thereby continue the project. In late April 2010, the developer's obligation for infrastructure improvements was reduced to $5.2 million with the balance being financed through the aforementioned state bonds. Responsibility for construction of the 1,500-car parking lot and access road at the town's third train station on lower Black Rock Turnpike was transferred to the town as the developer's financial obligation was reduced. In July 2011 an audit of the contract and the cost overruns was approved by the Fairfield Board of Finance and members of the Representative Town Meeting.
The station and 1,500-space surface parking lot are owned by the state. The building complex will have its own parking to accommodate the expected automobile commuters. As the project is completed, it will increase the commercial space inventory in the town of Fairfield by 30%. The project includes a railroad station to be located between Fairfield station and Bridgeport station. Many[who?] expect that this station would become a second express pick-up from Fairfield heading toward Stamford and Grand Central, in addition to the downtown Fairfield station. The complex is accessible by exit 24 of I-95, through the traffic circle at Kings Highway, and a two-lane road. As a special permit approved for the Metro Center owners, the town created a special five story zoning district just for this project. The special district will allow the planned buildings to become an office park with vibrant supporting retail and one hotel. The project has been designated as a "major traffic generator" by the Connecticut State Traffic Commission with the proponents of the project representing that it will improve traffic conditions in the area.
The station opened on December 5, 2011, with the first New York bound train arriving at 4:37 am. The project includes creation of a 10 acres (4.0 ha) open space and public park along Ash Creek between Kings Highway in Fairfield and the Black Rock neighborhood of Bridgeport. The project is being monitored by local and state agencies and by environmental experts.
National retailers have responded to the new development and have moved into the neighborhood. The new Kings Crossing Shopping Center opened just down the street from the Station in late 2011. New retailers in the development include: Whole Foods Market, Chipotle Mexican Grill, CVS Pharmacy, and Five Guys, among others. Because the new station provides a 65-minute train ride to Grand Central, local landlords have reported new renters commuting from Fairfield/Blackrock to Grand Central.
Platform and track configuration
|3||■ New Haven Line||for Grand Central|
|1||■ New Haven Line||no stop|
|■ Northeast Corridor||no stop|
|2||■ New Haven Line||no stop|
|■ Northeast Corridor||no stop|
|4||■ New Haven Line||for New Haven – State Street|
The Fairfield Metro is in the same rate zone as the other stations in Fairfield and is the first new station on the New Haven Line main line in approximately 100 years. This location is ADA-compliant, providing access for the mobility-impaired.
- Fairfield (Metro-North station), another Fairfield train station.
- Southport (Metro-North station), another Fairfield train station.
- Grosso, Meg Learson (December 15, 2010). "Take the survey: Name our third train station". Fairfield Minuteman. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
- Reilly, Genevieve (March 18, 2011). "Town officials on board with 'Fairfield Metro' name for new railroad station". Fairfield Citizen. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
- Saracco, Donna O'Keefe (December 31, 2009). "Train Station gets a boost". Fairfield Minuteman.
- Loh, Tim (January 20, 2010). "$20 million for Metro Center: "Bonding," not bailout, officials declare". Fairfield Citizen.
- Reilly, Genevieve (April 30, 2010). "Back on track". Fairfield Citizen. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
- Reilly, Genevieve (July 12, 2011). "Selectmen scrutinize Fairfield Metro contract changes". Connecticut Post. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
- "A New Metro-North Train Station to Open in Fairfield, Connecticut; Same Fare Zone as other Fairfield Stations" (Press release). Metro-North Railroad. July 22, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-12.