“Take the train to the game” was a slogan repeated by representatives of the MTA as well as traffic consultant Sam Schwartz during hearings earlier this year about the traffic plan for Barclays Arena.
The idea was that people should take the train to the arena rather than drive, to avoid traffic jams.
For most Brooklynites, “Take the train” refers to subways. But for residents of Nassau and Suffolk counties as well as many people from eastern Queens, it means the Long Island Railroad.
Luckily, the arena is located across the street from the LIRR’s Flatbush/Atlantic terminal. And, as was predicted at the aforementioned community meetings, the LIRR yesterday announced extra trains from the terminal every 15 to 25 minutes after late-night Nets games, concerts and special events.
After Nets games, the last connecting train from Atlantic Terminal will depart at 11:55 p.m. on both weeknights and weekends. After evening concerts and other special events, the last connecting train from Atlantic Terminal will depart at 12:41 a.m. weeknights and weekends.
Travelers will have to change at Jamaica to reach destinations further east, but LIRR riders are surely familiar with changing there already. At any rate, most transfers will be across the platform.
In the other direction, NYPD and MTA police will be on hand to assist customers arriving at the arena.
“If you are planning on attending a Nets game or going to see JAY-Z, Barbra Streisand, Justin Bieber, The Who or any of the other top acts at Brooklyn’s hottest new venue, we will have plenty of trains to get you there and get you home at the end of your evening,” said Helen Williams, president of the LIRR.
A new brochure, “Barclays Center LIRR Brooklyn Train Service,” will be available at stations for information about late-night connecting LIRR service back from Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn to points east on Long Island.
And, of course, remember that the Port Washington branch, alone out of all the LIRR branches, goes nowhere near Jamaica. Event-goers who live along that line should take the train to Penn Station, then transfer to the 2 or 3 subway lines to Atlantic Avenue.