It’s a familiar scenario. You want to take a train to work, or perhaps into New York, but you can’t find a place to park at the train station.

NJ  Transit officials say they’re aware of the problem and continue to look for ways to expand parking, but that’s not always easy.

“Serving in the nation’s most densely populated state, New Jersey Transit is very creative where we have the ability to expand parking,” said Nancy Snyder, an agency spokeswoman.

She said NJ Transit monitors parking at train stations, and is always looking to opportunities to increase it whenever possible.

“At Metropark station, New Jersey Transit offers valet parking service to help accommodate customers and accommodate parking demand at the structured parking facility,” she said.

Snyder said this will increase capacity by 175 vehicles on any given weekday.

She also said in some locations “New Jersey Transit does not operate the parking facilities, and these are operated either by municipalities or they’re operated by private parking operators."

Adding more spaces is usually not an easy task, Snyder said.

She stressed when NJ Transit looks to expand parking, “you have to factor in the available funding, and physical features and geometry of the particular site, as well as property ownership and then of course the local preferences.”

In other words. it’s not just a matter of “identifying a piece of land if it’s there and just paving or just adding more levels to an already existing parking deck."

“There are environmental traffic and other impacts that is relative to zoning that must be considered," Snyder said. "You cannot just say, OK, we’re going to build three more decks on top of this already existing deck.”

She said in some situations, “local communities independently provide shuttle services to certain rail services, as offered in South Orange as well as Maplewood.”

“In our quest to identify parking expansion opportunities, wherever we can, we also engage the metropolitan planning organizations to help undertake the effort as well," Snyder said.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.

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