HAWTHORNE, N.Y. – Commuters who park in the train station lots in Hawthorne and Valhalla will soon reach deeper into their pockets since the town increased the fees for yearly parking permits.
Town Supervisory Joan Maybury said the increase was made in order to offset an increase in expenditures and that it was the first time the fees were raised in two years.
"The town still has some of the lowest yearly rates in the area," Maybury said.
The price for a year-long parking permit jumps from $195 to $215 for residents, and will increase from $50 to $75 for students. The town begins selling the permits on Jan. 22, which will be in affect from March 1, 2013 to Feb. 28, 2014.
Hawthorne resident Michael Malone commutes on a daily basis through the Hawthorne train station and also keeps a blog on his experiences at trainjotting.com. Although Malone rides his bike to the station, he said he feels the town has commuters in a tough spot with raising the permit price.
"There's not many sidewalks throughout town for people to walk there," Malone said. "So a lot of people don't really have a choice other than driving to the lot and paying for the parking permit."
Malone added that it would be nice to see the town use the extra money to give back to the commuters, possibly by extending the parking lots to accommodate more cars.
"I have a friend who takes a train around 8:15 a.m. out of Hawthorne and sometimes she can't find a spot in the lot at that time," Malone said. "It has to leave a bad taste if you're paying for this permit and you're not even guaranteed to get a spot."