Peabody award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is Senior Editor for Politics & Policy for WNYC News. She has previously served as Metro Editor, Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
Basketball Arena Spurs LIRR Ridership Spike
Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 12:03 PM
The Brooklyn Nets may have been humbled by the Miami Heat Wednesday night, but their transit stop has never been better.
The NY MTA says Long Island Railroad ridership surged 334 percent since the Barclay's Center arena opened last fall, with an average of 3300 suburbanites taking the commuter rail to the arena each event night.
The night the Nets hosted the Knicks, 4852 riders arrived by LIRR, and 5377 riders departed, a record.
The arena was built with the highest ratio of seats to parking spaces in the country (about 19,000 seats, 500 spaces) in part to encourage transit usage (nine subway lines go directly to Barclays Center, 2 more nearby, plus the LIRR).
Other data compiled by TN of subway ridership also confirms game night surges.
Neighborhood groups predicted the arena would cause car traffic snarls, and a high demand for on-street parking, but so far, traffic on game nights hasn't met those predictions.
However, the arena's developers, Forest City Ratner, have yet to construct more than a dozen high-rises above and near the arena, slated to created the densest census track in the nation.