The National Hockey League’s arrival in Brooklyn may be bringing with it potentially fewer traffic headaches than anticipated by some area residents.
The New York Islanders are set to begin their inaugural season at Barclays Center on Friday, October 9. While many Brooklynites are excited to welcome the NHL to the list of growing sports leagues in the area, some feared that it would create a traffic nightmare with fans from Long Island making the long drive to Barclays, especially since the state-of-the-art arena doesn’t have an expansive parking lot. However, those potential concerns may be alleviated thanks to the Long Island Railroad’s (LIRR) decision to expand service during Islanders home games.
“Park the car at your local LIRR station because Barclays Center is right across the street from our Atlantic Terminal station in Brooklyn,” said LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski. “There is just no faster or more convenient way to get to and from an Islanders game than the LIRR.”
Under the new schedule, fans from the island heading to Barclays Center from stations on the Hempstead Branch and Far Rockaway Branch for weekday westbound service will be able to travel directly to Atlantic Terminal, with a stop in Jamaica, without changing trains. All other riders will change at Jamaica for Brooklyn-bound service. Trains depart from Jamaica for Atlantic Terminal every 15 minutes for the 15-20 minute ride to Barclays.
Heading home, the service will include two additional eastbound trains on weekdays that will depart from Atlantic Terminal 20 minutes following the conclusion of each game. The trains will run to Babylon and Farmingdale, respectively, stopping first at Jamaica and then making all local stops. Riders traveling to destinations on those two lines will not have to change trains at Jamaica.
During weekends and holidays, there will be two additional pre-game westbound trains and two additional post-game eastbound trains, the latter leaving 20 minutes following the conclusion of each game and running on the same lines as weekday trains.
For more information, visit www.islanders.nhl.com.