Saturday, November 01, 2014

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Special Measures Help People Get To And From Barclays Center

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TWC News: Special Measures Help People Get To And From Barclays Center
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Barclays Center has turned out to be the people magnet that its developers had hoped, and to get the masses to and from the center on event days, special measures have been put in place. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.

With clearly marked jackets, Barclays Center staff members help guide fans to the arena. But it's the traffic manager, Bavan Nandakumar, who makes sure everybody gets out quickly and safely. Before halftime starts, you can find Nandakumar outside, coordinating with the pedestrian safety team, with station booth workers and with traffic agents.

There's also the coordination with the MTA to make sure trains extra trains called gap trains are sent to the Barclays Center-Atlantic Avenue subway station when crowds get out.

"We'll hold those gap trains if we know a game is going into overtime," said Chip Foley, technology director for Forest City Ratner Co. "The coordination between the traffic manager and the transit authority, they'll hold those gap trains until we know when the game is actually over. So we're constantly communicating with the transit authority and saying, 'The game is over now. Send the gap trains.'"

As fans leave the arena, they get real time information on the train situation displayed on screens, whether it's the Long Island Rail Road or the subway system. The Brooklyn-based company Roadify provides the transit conditions, which can also be accessed with an smartphone app.

"It was always important that this arena be state of the art, the absolute best high-tech arena, and we were able to do that," said Bruce Ratner of Forest City Ratner Companies.

It was also important for the arena developers to encourage the use of mass transit. With nine subway lines and the LIRR, this station is the city's third-largest transit hub.

The MTA finds that ridership is way up at the station since the opening of Barclays Center, and it's the traffic manager who helps control the flow.

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