Summit offers free Uber rides in place of new parking deck at train station

A Union County town may have found a solution for commuters who struggle to find parking at the train station on weekdays that does not include building a large parking garage.

The mayor of Summit says the town will offer 100 of its residents free Uber rides to the train station since there are not enough parking spots to accommodate everyone. Mayor Nora Radest says she hopes this will free up some parking for other people coming into town.

"Hopefully we will have 100 free spaces in the parking garage so other people coming to town to shop and do business can use those spots," Mayor Radest says.

There are several stipulations for the plan. Residents must live in Summit and must have a valid town parking permit. The mayor says the costs for the city to pay for the Uber rides for one year is cheaper than building a new parking garage.

"At this point the estimate [for Uber rides] is $167,000," says Radest, "which quite frankly is a lot cheaper than building a multimillion-dollar parking garage."

Uber New Jersey General Manager Ana Mahony says the company partnered with Summit because it's more suburban business.

"Uber is making it easier for Summit commuters to get to NJ Transit while saving city taxpayers' money," she says in a statement.

Mayor Radest says so far, about 60 residents have signed up, leaving room for 40 more.

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