How are Islanders Fans Going to Get to Barclays Center Anyway?

Suburban hockey fans may be more inclined to drive to the Barclays Center for games, but city officials say public transit is an easier option.

Uprooting the New York Islanders from their suburban arena on Long Island and putting them at a busy Brooklyn crossroads may have one unwelcome consequence, according to the Wall Street Journal – more hockey fans driving to the arena.

Sam Schwartz, the engineer who prepared traffic plans for the Barclays Center, acknowledged in May that Long Island hockey fans would be less accustomed to using the subway system to get to game, adding that Nassau County has about two cars for every home.

Still, with Long Island Rail Road access across the street from the arena, Schwartz believed that public transportation could still be a viable option for suburbanites.

“If the Islanders come to Brooklyn,” Schwartz said at the time, “we’ll be ready for them.”

The Journal notes that with LIRR upgrades coming in the next few years, Atlantic Terminal riders will have a mandatory transfer at the Jamaica, Queens station. Zhan Guo, a researcher at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, says there is a “transfer penalty,” though, where people generally tend to prefer the least amount of transfers during a trip.

“One more transfer can deter passengers from making that trip,” Guo said in an interview earlier this year. “People tend to become more annoyed by the transfer than transportation engineers estimate.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz have answered questions about traffic the same, according to the paper: mass transit is the easiest way to get to and from the Barclays Center, because the Atlantic Terminal station houses so many different lines.

MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota insists that Islanders fans already come to Madison Square Garden via LIRR to watch their team go up against the New York Rangers.

“Based on how Long Islanders use the Long Island Railroad to come to MSG,” he wrote to the Journal, “why wouldn’t they follow the same pattern and take the LIRR to Barclays?”

fit4ufor3rd October 25, 2012 at 10:53 PM
no one from long island is coming to brooklyn to see them. they didnt go to long island to see them, or even want to fund a new stadium.
Kevin Harewood October 26, 2012 at 12:14 PM
There are two key points missing with the notion that all Long Island hockey fans want to drive to the games. First the Islanders had horrible attendance because the team had really sucked since the days of Mike Bossy and Dennis Potvin. The 70's . Wang will have to get some good players like Nets have. Second the person who wrote story must have never gone to a Yankee game or been on LIRR on day/night of a Ranger game. Many Long Island fans take Railroad and subway to both. Take D train back to Manhattan or Brooklyn after Yanks game and witness the exodus at 34th street. Get on LIRR on day of hockey Game and see the crowds. Even with there is a transfer fee it is cheaper to take train then to park. Also it is more convenient to park and ride than to sit in LIRR Southern State or Grand Crntral traffic


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