MTA Long Island Rail Road reported today that ridership to and from Brooklyn has jumped 334 percent since the opening earlier this year of the Barclays Center at Atlantic Terminal with the commuter line carrying an average of 3,300 new customers on event nights.
The Barclays Center, basketball home of the Brooklyn Nets, future hockey home of the New York Islanders and showplace for such stars as JAY-Z, Barbra Streisand and Justin Bieber, has been a big hit with Long Islanders who have forsaken their cars to board the LIRR's enhanced service to and from the new Atlantic Terminal in Downtown Brooklyn.
"Barclays Center has been every bit the draw we had anticipated it would be, creating a whole new customer stream for the LIRR," said LIRR President Helena Williams. "When Barclays Center opened in September, the LIRR was ready with the best possible service, including a special program including extra trains on event days and nights and a marketing campaign promoting travel via the LIRR to the new Atlantic Terminal across the street from the arena."
According to Williams, the biggest handle so far for was the 4,852 arriving customers and 5,377 departing customers served by the LIRR on December 11, the night the Nets hosted the New York Knicks for the first time.
On a typical Thursday evening prior to the Barclays Center opening, the LIRR would have averaged 990 arrivals and 430 departures at Atlantic Terminal. On Thursday, October 11, for the first of two Barbra Streisand concerts, those numbers jumped by 3,135 and 3,835 respectively – meaning that ridership was up 358 percent and for departures an astounding 995 percent for that night alone. The LIRR study shows that more customers are taking the train home to Long Island from Downtown Brooklyn after a game or show, an indication that many fans head to Barclays directly from jobs in Manhattan and elsewhere.