new Metro-North station has opened in West Haven after more than a decade of planning and construction, the first new station in two years on the busiest rail corridor in the U.S.
The $130 million station officially opened Sunday but faced its first major test with Monday morning’s commute. State transportation officials call it a first-class facility with two covered platforms nearly 1,100 feet long apiece, a pedestrian bridge over the tracks and parking spaces for more than 650 cars.
The station was built in the middle of what had been the longest stretch of the New Haven line without a stop – the 11 miles between the New Haven and Milford stations. Construction began in 2010.
Parking at the station will be free until Sept. 2.
Some commuters say they’re concerned that there are only two ticket machines at the new station.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said the state is making other investments on the New Haven line, including parking and new rail cars to speed the commute for workers and strengthen the regional economy.
“The New Haven Line is vital to facilitating commerce and ensuring residents have a real alternative to driving to work every day,” he said.
The last new station to open on the New Haven line was the Fairfield Metro Station, which was added in 2011.
The line saw ridership increase by 1.3 percent last year with 38.8 million rides, breaking a record set the previous year when the line carried 38.3 million people.