LIRR expands service for Barclays Center visitors

The exterior of the new Barclays Center in

The exterior of the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. (April 26, 2012) (Credit: Charles Eckert)

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Jay-Z may have 99 problems, but getting his concert-goers home by Long Island Rail Road won't be one.

The LIRR Wednesday released new details of its expanded Brooklyn service to accommodate riders traveling to and from the new Barclays Center, which is set to open Sept. 28 with eight sold-out Jay-Z concerts.

"This will really be a world class venue where many of our Long Island customers will want to travel," LIRR President Helena Williams said Wednesday at a Mineola news conference, where she was joined by Barclays representatives. "We know that with a first-rate sports and entertainment facility drawing thousands of fans, that we needed to come up with a good, solid service plan -- a big service plan -- to meet this demand."

To that end, the LIRR will offer eastbound train service out of Atlantic Terminal -- just across the street from the Downtown Brooklyn arena -- approximately every 20 minutes beginning around 10 p.m. on nights when events are held at the center.

During Nets basketball game nights, service will run until shortly before midnight. On nights when concerts or other events are held, trains will run until 12:41 a.m., although Williams said the LIRR was "flexible" in case an event ran later than that.

As part of widespread service cuts throughout MTA operations in 2010, the LIRR eliminated regularly scheduled Brooklyn trains between midnight and 5 a.m. The LIRR plans to restore some weekday Brooklyn service through 2 a.m. in March.

Although Williams said the LIRR "will never just leave customers standing" at Brooklyn, she did advise riders who wanted to spend time in Brooklyn after a Barclays event to consider taking a subway to Penn Station, where there would be more trains to take them home.

And because the late returning Brooklyn trains won't make immediate connections to every LIRR line at Jamaica, Williams said some customers should consider driving to stations on other lines and beginning their trips there.

For the LIRR's full Barclays Center event train schedule, visit www.mta.info/lirr

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