Incentivizing transit ridership with…beer?
When the Nets new arena opens at the Atlantic Yards complex in a few years, it will bring with it traffic to a few of Brooklyn’s quieter residential neighborhoods. With Park Slope to the south, Prospect Heights to the east and Fort Greene to the north, the area doesn’t lend itself to the multitude of cars that will throng its streets on game days. Unfortunately, despite sitting atop one of the city’s busiest subway hubs and a Long Island Rail Road, the project will come with more parking than we’d like. To encourage mass transit use then, one advocate has proposed an idea for the masses: free beer.
At a Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council meeting held last week to attack the traffic problem, Ryan Lynch of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign called upon Forest City Ratner to subsidize a free beer for those who take the train to the game
. “Give people a free beer. They’re not driving,” Lynch said. “There needs to be more incentives from the developer and events promoters to encourage event-goers to get on mass transit. You could show your Metrocard or LIRR ticket and get a discount at the concession stand.”
A spokesman for the developers issued a very spokesman-y statement. “We’re working on a fully integrated transportation plan that will look at a variety of ways of using mass transit instead of driving to the arena on game nights or event nights,” Joe DePlasco said. Ultimately, though, the Nets and Forest City Ratner should figure out a way to encourage transit use. Whether that includes supporting a residential parking permit program for the neighborhood’s streets or offering MetroCard- and LIRR-based discounts, driving to this arena should be discouraged. I’d drink to that.