New York Islanders Fan Transit Woes After Games
By Timothy Palladino
New York Islanders fans got used to commuting to the home games last season. With more trains being added this season, fans from long Island should see the same amount of trains they saw during the playoffs. Will that be enough is the question?
Last season was the fist year that New York Islanders fans took the train to the game. Islanders fans had a long-standing tradition of driving to the Coliseum for home games. The result of this new way to make their pilgrimage to the arena came with mixed reviews.
I asked fans on a Facebook Islanders Group on the 21st about their commutes to and from the games. And fans flooded in to share their stories of commuting back from the Barclays.
With news reports the LIRR will expand service to regular season games to playoff levels, are fans expecting more of the same? Or is this the solution to their issues?
Late, Busy, and Out of Control
One common thing from all the responses was that getting to the Barclays Center was fine, but the ride home was where the problem was. Not enough trains and overcrowding was the most common complaint from Islanders fans.
It’s understandable criticism for a city of millions and a tristate full of delays. One response I received was that Friday nights, in particular, were a problem when leaving the game.
Season ticket holder Mike Sorrentino says he takes his family, including small children to the games and worries about safety on the train ride home: “The cursing is out of control, people have zero respect or tact when kids are around.”
Safety is a big concern not just for families but for individuals going to the game. By adding more trains hopefully fans won’t have to crowd onto the first one that hits the station.
But the most common complaint was late trains. Fans say they saw everything from small to big delays throughout the season. For some fans like Gary Harding, the ride from the Northshore’s Port Jefferson line was horrible and full of delays.
Islanders fan Monica Caterina Cobas agrees and told me “The Oyster Point Branch had limited trains during the playoff run.” Surprising since the MTA promised better service and extra trains.
What happened last year can only be a lesson for fans and the transit agency. Hopefully, the plans to increase regular season service will ease complaints fans had last season.
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With more trains overcrowding should become less of an issue. With fewer passengers onboard, hopefully, that translates to fewer shenanigans. And more importantly, more timely transit back home.
Entering Season two at Barclays will be a big test for the transit agency and Barclays to see if this really is a fit or if plans should be mad to move elsewhere.