Malloy Helps City Track East Side Train Station, ‘Bridgeport’s Next Evolution’

Barnum station
Rendering of Barnum Station provided by governor’s office.

Calling a second city train station “Bridgeport’s next evolution,” Governor Dan Malloy visited the city Wednesday afternoon–his second stop as in many days–to announce $2.75 million for engineering, design and environmental permitting in support of Barnum Station at the site of the former Remington Arms factory on Barnum Avenue, an initiative proposed by Mayor Bill Finch and State Senator Andres Ayala.

City development director David Kooris says a fully functional train station will cost approximately $50 million to build. Kooris added that DuPont which had once owned the property years ago has agreed to cover remediation costs.

Last December Finch announced the awarding of $2.5 million in state funds to commence demolition of the RemGrit site (formerly occupied by Remington Arms) as the potential home of a second train station. The RemGrit site once housed one of the largest munitions plants in the country. The parcels located on the RemGrit site included in the demolition and remediation project were a 57,600 square-foot manufacturing building and an 8,800 square-foot boiler building.

Malloy at train station announcement

Finch announced last year, “A second train station in Bridgeport will be an engine for economic development for the East Side, East End and the entire City, that is why we have worked so hard to make the P.T. Barnum Train Station a reality. My administration has been working collaboratively with state and federal officials to demonstrate the need for a second train station in Bridgeport, because I firmly believe that a second train station is exactly what our City needs. With the commencement of this demolition, we have taken yet another positive step forward on a project that will result in the creation of a tremendous asset to the City. In addition to the progress we’ve made on the P.T. Barnum Train Station, we are also cleaning up a site that has been an eyesore in the neighborhood for decades.”

Kooris, Finch, Ayala
Right to left, Mayor Bill Finch, State Senator Andres Ayala and city development director David Kooris in front of RemGrit site, the potential location of a second train station.

The mayor says a second train station will help clean up several blocks of the troubled East Side and complement redevelopment of the Steel Point area, featuring the expected construction of mega outdoor retailer Bass Pro Shops, just blocks away.

More from Malloy in a news release:

Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the State Bond Commission at its next meeting will approve $2.75 million for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) to hire a consultant to complete the engineering, design and environmental permitting to develop the site of the new Barnum Train Station on Bridgeport’s East Side. The Governor made the announcement at the former Remington Arms factory, a brownfield property, which will be the location of the city’s second train station.

“With this investment in the Barnum Train Station, we are improving the quality of life for residents in Bridgeport’s East Side and East End while at the same time encouraging transit-oriented and economic development in our largest city,” said Governor Malloy. “Moving this project forward demonstrates our commitment to helping municipal partners and stakeholders make their communities more accessible, more walkable centers of cultural and economic activity. In the process, we are also building a foundation to make Connecticut a stronger and more regionally competitive state by growing jobs for residents and providing more flexible, convenient transportation options for employers and employees alike.”

The new Barnum Station project investment has been deemed feasible by a recent study completed with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities. Based upon the existing conditions analysis, a number of community, transit-oriented and economic development opportunities were identified in the feasibility study, including but not limited to:

• Neighborhood stabilization – Barnum Station has the potential to stabilize and encourage reinvestment in the East End and East Side neighborhoods.
• Market opportunities – Analysis indicates that there is a potential market for new residential, retail, and flex/office spaces in the study area. There is an opportunity to complement, but not compete with various other development efforts within the City of Bridgeport, including Steel Point, Bridgeport Housing Authority redevelopment plans, and expansion of Bridgeport Hospital.
• Strong anchors – The study area includes a number of strong anchors including Bridgeport Hospital, the newly constructed Waltersville and Barnum Elementary School, existing industrial uses (such as Lacey Manufacturing), and significant open space resources along the Yellow Mill Channel.
• Available land – Approximately 2/3 of the land within a 1/4-mile radius of Barnum Station is either vacant or underutilized.
• Relationship to Yellow Mill Channel – There is the potential for water and recreation opportunities along the Yellow Mill Channel, including creation of a greenway, consistent with ongoing City planning efforts.
• Transit ridership – The study area is currently well served by the Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority’s bus routes, and there is the potential for additional local- and hospital-related demand, as well as more efficient north-south connections as area redevelopment takes place.
• Roadways – Analysis indicates that there is available capacity on study area roadways as well as opportunities that exist for improving these roadways, particularly in taking a “complete streets” approach to accommodate not only vehicles, but pedestrians and bicyclists as well, particularly along Seaview Avenue.

With this funding in place and estimating an 18-month design phase, the soil remediation that will be performed can begin in spring of 2016 and construction on the station could occur in 2017 for a start of operations in the fall of 2018.

“We’re making smart investments in the future,” said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch. “Key investments include the East Bridgeport Development Corridor, which will serve as a catalyst for growth in the city’s East End, East Side, and Mill Hill neighborhoods. This project is already gaining steam. But it will never reach its full potential without a train station nearby. The proposed Barnum Station, which will be the second train station in our state’s largest city, will help ensure the East Bridgeport Development Corridor becomes a place where people want to live and work, and where companies want to invest and hire people. That’s why today’s announcement is so important. Thanks to Governor Malloy, State Senator Ayala, and the rest of our state delegation for securing funds to ensure this project reaches its full potential.”

“A new train station on Barnum Avenue will serve as a linchpin in the transformation of the East Side and East End communities into a hub for economic activity in Bridgeport,” said State Senator Andres Ayala (D-Bridgeport). “We have been working on this project for several years now, with additional plans for housing developments to be established adjacent to the station that will be ideal for commuters and will further stimulate economic growth in our community. I am glad Governor Malloy has continued his commitment to this project, which will be a big boost to this city, creating new jobs and opportunities for local residents.”

“The decision by Governor Malloy to provide added state resources for the design of Bridgeport’s proposed Barnum Train Station will be received by Bridgeport’s regional business leadership very positively,” said Paul Timpanelli, President and CEO of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council. “The development of the Barnum station is a critical ingredient to the success of the city’s development vision, particularly as that effects the so-called East Side Corridor. The planned development of that corridor over the long-term will result in very significant job growth, tax base growth, and transit oriented housing development as it will be key to the revitalization of over 700 acres of underperforming real estate and will serve as a catalyst to the growth of existing job generators such as Bridgeport Hospital. Our thanks go out to Governor Malloy for his forward-thinking willingness to invest in appropriate infrastructure that will build our state’s economy.”

“If we are going to get people out of their cars and onto public transportation, we have to make it convenient, clean, safe and reliable,” said Connecticut DOT Deputy Commissioner Anna M. Barry. “Adding a new station helps move us further along toward that goal. It will also help us fulfill another commitment to the people of Connecticut – the creation of new transit-oriented development.”

Governor Malloy emphasized that funding for Barnum Station is just one part of a coordinated strategy to increase ridership along the New Haven Line by investing in new stations, train cars and rail infrastructure in order to ensure safer, faster and more reliable service for residents. The Governor said the investments will also encourage public and private transit-oriented development that will strengthen and revitalize downtown areas across the state by connecting transportation hubs with residential and commercial centers in Connecticut’s cities and towns.

The State Bond Commission is scheduled to vote on the item at its July 25 meeting at 10:30 a.m. in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.



  1. I like the idea of a train station but I am not convinced it is necessary. Every new train station will add minutes to commuting time and this will distance Bridgeport more and more from economic hubs like Stamford and NY. Malloy also increased the train fares through 2018. I think they could have focused on doing a complete overhaul to the Bpt train station and expand parking. Grow what you have. A creative idea would be to do a stop on the Waterbury line, maybe with a stop in north Stratford, this would be fairly cheap to do but innovative, sort of how Stamford has Glenbrook. The only way the Bpt train station would work is if they plan it with new residential buildings and businesses.

    1. Makes things convenient for the car stealers when you can drive your car to them.
      DiNardo paid his taxes??? Now who started that rumor, years ago it was $10 million he owed, should be much more today. He should hop on the train and go someplace else, with our money of course.

    2. Please notice those in attendance at this press conference. We have Malloy, Finch, Ayala, Clemons, Grogins, Lydia Martinez, the pastor appointed to the Charter Commission and featured on the “Vote Yes” campaign literature (all machine Democrats) and then of course we have Andre Baker. The same Andre Baker who has consistently portrayed himself as anti-machine and independent of Mayor Finch.

  2. Can somebody tell me about how that additional train station in Fairfield on a polluted industrial site is working out?
    This was supposed to be a great economic development engine in a far more inviting town and it has done nothing. So why is anyone to believe this is going to be different in B’port? The only be beneficiary of this whole fairytale will be Uncle Sal DiNardo.

    1. Bob Walsh, I know you are not Sal DiNardo’s biggest fan but cut the guy some slack. He has paid taxes on vacant properties for decades. The city situation over the past few decades has made Bridgeport not exactly the place to be. Now the City will utilize this derelict property and bank on a positive future. Give the Mayor some credit. You do not have to dance in the streets but at least say maybe this could be a good thing to enhance an area and attract developers.

      1. Steve,
        This is the problem in Bridgeport. Favored developers expect these breaks and deals at the cost of honest hardworking developers.
        They cannot break into the inner circle and therefore move on.
        It is truly not what you know and what can you do but who do you know. And until all of that changes, nothing will change.

    2. Hey Bob,
      I happened to have recently talked to a principle from the developer of Fairfield Metro. First he told me Metro was the first new station on the NH line in 90 years, followed closely by West Haven. Metro is finally coming online as an alternative to the other suburban stations. He said Bridgeport’s main problem is the disconnect between the transit hub and downtown. He said who wants to park at BPT station and then walk all the way from the middle of nowhere to downtown. I then told him about the East Side train station plan. After he finished laughing, he stated he did so much hand-holding to convince the state Metro was a good idea. He can’t see the viability of an East Side station. Oh, there will never be no million square feet of office space at Metro either.

      1. Mr. Alicea, would you really expect a principal in the Fairfield Metro development to have something positive to say about anything in Bridgeport? Keep in mind, developers will be looking to develop the City when the basic necessities are in place. You think housing around an East Side station would not be a magnet for people working along the rail lines? When Steelepointe takes off with housing there will be a need. I am optimistic.

    3. The parking lot has less than current capacity used. And initial designs contemplated at least an equal additional amount of parking. Not necessary today.
      And the developers saw offices and retail getting developed. And the financial institutions reading the economic signs were not ready to pursue the imagination of the developer. Fairfield as a community ended with expense instead of revenue for the realistic downsizing. And the developer proposes housing, today.

      So where is the need in Bridgeport for transportation? And if there is no need to justify the station, and if the money gets spent to develop a station anyway, how will it serve as an economic engine? Please explain. I want to listen to the logic of State or City money so applied. Time will tell.

    4. Bob,
      You asked about the Metro Station on Black Rock turnpike. I have used it and like it for its proximity and available space. Demand for the parking is not what it may have been in the development phase.
      BOE SPY posted this comment last evening: “Every other train station has a 2+ year waiting list for parking” while addressing the potential for a Bridgeport East Station.

      I was curious about this “fact.” I called the Fairfield Parking Authority that handles parking matters for Fairfield and Southport Stations, however, Fusco Corporation manages the Metro Parking. I asked the courteous representative what the waiting time for a pass and was told there is NO WAITING at this time. That is interesting when you put it in contrast with folks asking for the need of this train stop as well as making a case for it being an engine of economic development.
      Yes we need development, but when government gets involved investors expect a break, and the breaks get bigger and the returns are smaller. Skin in the game is critical but as the owner at 3336 Fairfield Avenue has learned, the project’s gain was all his when he proposed and got his waivers. But waiting for time has an expense factor and the risks are all his unless he shares them with a partner. And if he has a new partner who will share with him in the projected 12% return, why do the rest of us pay 100% taxes while he pays 33% taxes for the next ten years? We get the same services, don’t we? Why should his taxes be lower guaranteed as we go through rough times? Did he make a bad investment decision initially? Let him make a realistic decision rather than have a majority of our City Council representatives present make a gift by forgiving at least $2.5 Million of prospective taxes between now and 2025. Time will tell.

      1. John,
        When I was on the council and matters like this (I am not sure of all of the details) came before us I would start by calling them partner.
        I would ask them if all of their financials were accurate and if they would stand by them and when they agreed I would ask them if they would give the city any unexpected revenues. Rents become greater than expected, the city gets the increase. The building is sold, the city gets a pre-agreed upon percent of the proceeds.
        It was amazing as to how accurate their numbers were until they were asked to abide by them. Then they would run. And the city’s Economic Development Department would run alongside of them.

      2. I did say the new FF Metro station does not have a parking wait I think many people are parking in the BPT BJ’s lot (where FF cops can’t get them and BPT cops don’t care) and walking across the street. I don’t know. Maybe the train station is a bad idea but if Bpt does nothing we will go nowhere. Train stations are a more appropriate government project than sporting goods stores.

        I honestly think BPT will abandon the downtown station and move the ferry close to the new station, put in parking just off the highway and connect them all with a tram or something to have an intermodal transportation complex. The ferry will like having a shorter run to LI. People can get off the highway just before it goes to hell and rideshare or tram to the train or ferry. They can drive to the train station or ferry and just go where they need to. It is not a bad idea. A feasibility study would be a good idea. BPT is a little far north for people who work in NY and way too south for Boston or Hartford.

        BPT is in a catch-22. People do not come here because there is no reason to. No one builds anything here because no one comes here. The reasons for most of the problems BPT faces have the same self-reinforcing dilemma.

  3. I think the new train station won’t hurt as it will replace the dilapidated site, but I agree this needs to be done strategically. The station should be accompanied by more.

    On a slightly different note, I think it was Enterprise car rental that at one point was rated the second-best car rental in the US. They took this fact and marketed it by saying they will work harder for the customer than their competitor because they want to be number one.

    I think this is a brilliant strategy that can be used in Bridgeport. We take our deficits and market them as strengths. Bridgeport can say something such as Come to Bridgeport, where you’re always guaranteed a seat on the Metro.

    They can brand Bridgeport’s downtown and South End. 777 minutes–Seven minutes to the Train, Ferry, and the Beach. I am just brainstorming but I hope you get my point.

  4. This proposal was a real plus and shows the Mayor is forward thinking. This should spur economic development, housing and business. We might even get a new grocery store. Kudos to Mayor Finch, I now see what David Kooris looks like. I guess I did meet him a few years ago at the Bass Pro announcement party at the Steelepointe site. Putting a new train station in place can only benefit the state’s largest city. It also removed a huge blighted eyesore. The East End should be extremely grateful. This is like sending out a lifeline to an area that has been underserved. This no doubt an incentive to spark development. It is also a perfect photo opportunity for Malloy and Finch. Will they have a photo opportunity for the ground breaking of Marina Village on Main St.?

    Seriously, good job Mayor Finch.

    1. Your willingness and ability to be persuaded makes you special. But by clinging to rigidity and inflexibility, you place yourself in the conventional cubbyholes of yesterday.

  5. Steve, one of the issues with DiNardo is he has not paid taxes on some properties and has tied up the city in court.

    More importantly, has a report been published detailing the need for a second train station at that location, or is it just something Finch wants and Malloy will use as a campaign promise?

    1. Tom, the absolute need may not be there today. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Having been at Barnum School and Waltersville a number of times, I have explored this area. I see an area that could be vibrant in a few years. The Seaview Ave. corridor, the GE property. There are many parcels vacant and enough derelict properties on contiguous parcels for redevelopment. I see this as a boon to the East Side and a step to push for a more prosperous future. As the state’s largest city, it is necessary if we want to expand and grow our tax base. It does also bode well for Governor Malloy. It shows his total commitment to our future. We should embrace it and get excited. The best is yet to come.

      1. So Steve, you have no problem if the federal government spends $150 million dollars to build a train station in Ames Iowa even if it is not needed but MAY spur economic development in the future. Really, that is how you want your federal tax dollars spent? Really???

        1. No Bob, because Ames Iowa is not the City I love and because I know there is so much pork going everywhere, I want Bridgeport to get its fair share of pork. It’s kosher to me.

      2. Dollars are very dear, Steve. Dollars to pay living wages to City employees. Dollars to pay for supplies and resources to protect the City and provide services.

        If a need is marginal, or not to be realized for a long time, why pursue it today when MONEY is a scarce governmental resource? What might be the most impressive gift from the State to City voters and taxpayers? Perhaps it would be a program to convert a variety of housing programs into ownership by those who reside in them and are otherwise capable of ownership and maintenance. Government helping me own something that develops value slowly, value I can pass on? What a concept … when alternative programs to provide $350,000 to $400,000 residences to folks who cannot afford them today and do not contribute to the tax base fully and which values will tumble when placed in service because of the “Bridgeport effect.”

        The developers for 3336 Fairfield Avenue explained a concept I had not heard before. It is called the “APPRAISAL GAP.” It represents the difference between what it costs a developer to build a unit of real estate and what that unit will appraise for. It is that gap the banker must anticipate in structuring financing in order to expect a return of the money loaned as well as a return on the money loaned. What uniquely happens in Bridgeport with land and buildings is a critical component of combining money and housing plans.

        If housing programs develop new or renovated physical structures, why not provide it to responsible folks for long-term taxpaying residence? Stronger communities. Property values kept up by maintenance of home by resident. Eliminate opportunities for quick sales, etc. Take people out of the provided-for category and place them in a sustainable and doing fine category with one major initial assist?

        Eggs and chickens are both available at food stores where there is enough buying power density and the discussion is not what comes first. It is what do we do today first, and tomorrow second, etc. Time will tell.

  6. Please someone, tell me how a train station is going to help Bridgeport economically. I know it will make the area more attractive, but what else? I actually know the need for this station is so the high-speed train from Boston to DC can stop here, now it can’t.

  7. To follow up on Tom White’s post, where are the consumers coming from?
    Please don’t tell me people are going to ride the train to the East Side to shop at Bass Pro.
    Commuters who use one of several Fairfield stations are going to drive to Bridgeport? Do we expect ridership to increase 20% in the next decade?
    Has anyone read about the depleted federal transportation fund they are fighting over in DC right now that will be unfunded within six months?
    And even if the station is completed, who has agreed to develop the area around it?
    Let’s see a professional independent feasibility study that answers all of these questions before the city sinks a dime into this project.
    Because if all we are going to do is divide up the commuters who currently use the downtown station, we are really kidding ourselves.

    1. Bob, are we to assume your candidate Marilyn Moore agrees with your stance on the train station? Is this what we can expect? Obstacles to progress at every turn?

      1. First of all Stevie boy, you are to assume my opinions are MY opinions.
        All I am asking for is some evidence a need exists other than the city taking Sal DiNardo’s contaminated piece of sh_t off his hands for free, we pay for the cleanup and forgiving back taxes.

        1. Sometimes Bob, you just have to accept politics for what it is. Sal DiNardo has been a friend to the City for a long time. Democrats and Republicans have been beneficiaries of his contributions. Whether you like DiNardo or not, he has persevered during Bridgeport’s darkest hours and has suffered through decades of no economic development and no marketing by the City. Many of his properties became derelict eyesore as well as complete obsolete facilities. The Mayor’s ability to make lemonade out of a very sad situation is a good thing. If I were Finch’s opposition, this would not be one of his shortcomings. Kudos to Malloy for his support.

          I can almost taste that dinner that Andy is going to buy me. 🙂

          1. Then Steve, sometimes you have to accept Bridgeport for the shithole it is. Because you have no one else to blame but yourself with an attitude like that.

          2. Bob, I do not see Bridgeport as a shithole. I am also not naive. I have been on the inside and have seen it all first hand. I can remember being at meetings where certain council members had their hands out, guaranteed to turn off a developer. I see this as a plus for Bridgeport. I see hundreds of carpenters and electricians working on Steelepointe and the train station simultaneously, I see young working people locating to Bridgeport and commuting. I see money being spent on the East End and ultimately, because the timing is right, a new grocery store. Where the hell is the vision? I assume it is you who visualizes the City as a shithole and not Marilyn Moore.

            Btw, I just received literature from Marilyn. I know cost is an issue but you gotta go color print like the ad on this blog. It is a stunning picture. The mailer, not so much.

        2. Bob, several days ago Ron Mackey specifically directed a question to me on this very blog. You took it upon yourself to answer Ron’s question on my behalf. You didn’t have any problem expressing your opinion on behalf of someone you barely know, so why not answer for your very dear friend Marilyn?

      2. Steve,
        Is the proposed Bridgeport East Station in Senator Ayala’s district or that of Senator Musto whose office Marilyn Moore seeks? Does it matter? Or is every candidate supposed to have a position on everything, like the folks who post on OIB? Time will tell.

        1. Having an opinion on every subject is de rigueur for OIB blogees. Lennie insists on having the highest caliber posts available. We pontificate here and to be without opinion is to be without value and the OIB blogosphere won’t tolerate that.
          Those without opinions lurk while those of stout mind post.

        2. It is in Ayala and Hughes’ district. Yes John Marshall Lee, it does matter. These senators all vote and have to be on the same page. Moore states she supports the unions in her political brochure, I do not need to answer to the carpenters and electricians unions. She does. She supports economic development but not Steelepointe. You bet your ass it matters. It matters to the overburdened homeowners on the East End and the entire city.
          Is our economic development going to be new schools and Marina Village replacement housing? No it is not. The people of the East End are going to have major improvements whether they like it or not. Their lives will be so much sweeter. All they need to do is vote for a thoughtful educated team player who can be taken seriously and bring the kosher bacon back to Bridgeport.

          1. Steve,
            Tackling first things first, before Marilyn needs to get on the same page with the other State elected from Bridgeport, she needs to get elected. And that is best served by looking at the issues of her district, no?
            I live in Musto’s district and I do not remember him making a big thing about Bridgeport’s economic development requiring a “driver” like this second station in the East End, do you?
            You frequently mention Moore’s position on Steelpointe. I guess I may have missed that as well, but I have been wanting and not getting more info about other businesses or investors willing to take a risk by building in Bridgeport … soon … with jobs … with juice … and ability to deliver!!! It may happen yet, but as Bob Walsh has stated, let’s put a template together that looks at how long we have been at this process, how the property has been assembled, moving taxpayers out and waiting for development, and who has put up how much Federal money, State money, guarantees for bonding, etc.! And the template should then show what the developer has put in, and how much more is expected. And then, if and when there is taxable property, who gets first call on the flow of dollars and for how long??? We can temper our excitement reasonably with such a visual tool, rather than more pretty renderings. Perhaps there will be more time to accomplish this when the water taxis stop running in the fall. Costs and benefits, rigorous review and understanding about public and private money in partnership. Time will tell.

          2. Yes JML, and the issues she will get elected by are her stance on woman’s health, she listens and jobs as well as economic development. Yeah, I’ll stick with Anthony Musto. I have not heard anything about Moore’s economic issues, she support unions and doesn’t support Steelepointe. Jobs? Really?

          3. Steve,
            Again, please provide some form of evidence Marilyn Moore does not support Steel Point (whatever that means) or stop spreading your vicious lies about her.
            You may not like her but that does not give you the right to continue to spread this fabrication of yours.

    2. Bob, there is always the possibility someone in the East Side will stamp their bags of Heroin with “Bass Pro.” It would be just another creative way to reel in new shoppers to the area.

  8. Here is what I think of the train station. If the state and the feds are picking up the tab then that’s great and costs us nothing. If building the station with other’s money means the high-speed train can stop in Bridgeport, that’s even better.
    Look, no one has been more critical of Bill Finch than I have but if this goes through and costs the taxpayers of Bridgeport nothing, let him crow about it.

  9. It is not a Train Station, it is a TRAIN STOP. They are only interested in the PARKING. How a huge parking lot (in an area EVERYONE would rather not park) is going to enhance that neighborhood is beyond me.

  10. Are you all cynics? The beautiful Bass Pro Shops will go well with the train stop. You can see their designs in City Hall. The people of the city have themselves to thank for this boneheaded hallucination, keep voting for thieves and you will get robbed.

    1. Charlie, just out of curiosity, do you know a few candidates you would like to see run for office? Let’s get names out there. Whether you like a candidate or not, we need to respect the time, effort and sacrifice they make to serve.

      1. They are in it to self serve! Term limits on every elected office would be very helpful. David Walker would make an excellent Mayor or better yet Governor. Forget the party and focus on the candidate’s ability and history. Jack Hennessy is another option.

  11. BTW, side bar … does anyone on this blog know if SCOTT HUGHES has qualified for funding? He is a good man and it would be nice to see that district have a choice. I like Ayala and Hughes. I do not vote in that district, but I do know it would be a very interesting race.

  12. There are good things about a new train station. The downtown train station is terrible. There is nothing there. A little diner thing on one side and the other side is a bathroom-sized waiting area. It does have a nice view of the water but that is it. You sit on the metal bench and see if the train will run over a rat.

    The new train station will have the possibility of a paper stand, coffee shop and other concessions (city income). Massive parking at $5-6/day/car. Maybe a covered area at a higher rate? Every other train station has a 2+ year waiting list for parking. It could have parking lot awnings with Finch’s solar panels on top, making the parking lot a solar field you park underneath or, at least, partially protects the cars from sun and snow. People still ride the train, they just don’t drive to the station. Those people will come to the BPT station because they can drive to the station. Train station parking is a gold mine I am surprised cities have not exploited.

    The Fairfield metro station has helped the area. Rents in the area jumped up. Housing in the area is in higher demand. Didn’t a movie theater in the area just close to become housing? Could the train station have something to do with that? More people in the area mean more customers for all the local businesses. If you can walk to the train station, that would be easy. Fairfield Metro has 1500 spots @ $420/yr (this is the cheapest price, 2-6 month passes) or $630,000/yr for Fairfield. I did see news that said FF Metro’s parking is not sold out. If the economy comes back a little, train station parking will be higher than ever.

    So we build a train station. It is a good use for a brownfield and NOT have to conduct expensive remediation. Capping this site will be plenty. Right now the area is not attractive. A big, empty lot would be better and a train station better than that.

    1. In a meeting in Black Rock, I asked Mr. Kooris if it would be a TRAIN STATION or a TRAIN STOP, he answered (publicly) it would be a TRAIN STOP. So while there is possibility of a newsstand etc., it is clearly not part of the vision. If we are not receiving any of the parking fees, there is no benefit to the citizens of Bridgeport.

      1. That is too bad. Concession stands are easy income. A Dunkin Donuts at the train station is a no-brainer.
        That is the problem with government projects. They can take a machine that prints money and make it cost too much to run. Remember when you used to read about the railroad barons? Once the government took over (Metro North, Amtrak), they can’t lose money fast enough.

    1. Trumbull or Fairfield? I wish. My house is on the market but no luck so far. It would not be to park on the East Side. It would be to park period. The further south you go the longer the waiting lists get. People actually ‘sell’ their parking passes when they no longer need them.
      Here is Stratford’s info:
      They would park in the new BPT station. There are more than 350 names on the town’s waiting list. That list is 2+ years long.
      Bob, what should we build there and who is going to pay for that? We only need one Bass Pro. Right now that place has an open floor plan and not much stock.

        1. So the only problem you have with the train station is Sal’s involvement? If the city moved overtwo lots and bought the property from Joe Shmoe, you would be OK with the station? If Sal were going to let the property sit and do nothing, that would be better? Sal does not pay taxes. No one can buy the lot because the city has a lien on it. Sal has no intention of paying back taxes or developing the lot. What do we do? We could continue to hold Sal liable for the back taxes but once you take the property the city does not really have any recourse. I am sure Sal moved the property into an LLC as the LLC’s only asset.

  13. Steven Auerbach, now you are really showing how out of touch you are, it’s okay to spend all that money on something that is not needed but where there is a need for something in Bridgeport and the voters want it, elected officials should turn their backs on them. Steve, you’ve become nothing but a cheerleader for Mayor Finch, right or wrong, let’s build it because you like it.

  14. A $50 million rail station is a pipe dream. If the cost of the West Haven and Fairfield stations is any indication, the cost is likely to be double, if not triple, that.

    At a time when the state faces many urgent transportation needs, it makes no sense to spend that kind of money on a rail station for which there is no operational need and may actually hurt downtown.

    This is election year politics, pure and simple.

  15. It is absolutely a great idea for a new train station on the East Side. (Finch says it is his vision but it first came up under Fabrizi. It would connect people to jobs, stabilize the housing and commercial market on the East Side, augment whatever eventually happens at Steelpointe, and promote something called Transit Oriented Development, take cars off 95, the list goes on. New Haven did its State Street stop and it promoted Downtown New Haven and TODs and it didn’t seem to be that big a deal. (NO, it has not been 90 years since any new station before the Fairfield Metro was built.) Of course it now stands as a re-election ploy for Malloy and Finch. Of course it is for the City to hide behind from the DiNardo/Remington embarrassment. I smell a rat with a DiNardo bailout. I only hope they save the Shot Tower! Where is the Shot Tower in this conversation? And yes, the Downtown station is a joke. The “Intermodal Center,” yuk.

  16. I read the Connecticut rag this morning and they had an editorial about the new railroad station. They are in favor of it because it will help Stratford with railway parking. Now isn’t that a valid reason to build rail station in Bridgeport? It must be a great idea as Stratford has been such a great neighbor. GAG.

    1. Andy–by ‘help’ do they mean taking people who are willing to pay to park at the Stratford railroad station but can’t because it is full and having them pay to park at a BPT station? If that is the case then it is not as much ‘helping Stratford as much as it is ‘I scratch your back and mine as well.’
      That station will attract commuters from most of Stratford and parts of Trumbull and that area.


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