Yellow cabs are flocking to the pick up passengers at the Barclays Center after sporting events and concerts, something that once seemed impossible for Brooklyn visitors and dwellers, according to the New York Times.
Drivers, residents and traffic guards near the area echo new city data that shows yellow cab drivers are now more willing to drop passengers off near the new Barclays Center, because they can reasonably expect a return fare to Manhattan. And once an event lets out at the arena, there is no shortage of people looking to flag down a cab.
Early analysis by the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission shows that total pickups from 7 p.m. to midnight have nearly doubled, to an average of 351 a night, within a quarter-mile of the arena during 14 event nights.
According to the Times, when Jay-Z performed his first concert on opening night at the arena, Sept. 28, pickups totaled 188 from 8 to 11 p.m., before the concert crowd left, an increase of over 70 percent compared with an average Friday. On Oct. 11, the night of Barbra Streisand’s first concert, there were 137 pickups during the same period, an increase of 37 percent.
To compare, the paper says that seven yellow-taxi pickups occurred during a September Madonna concert at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, and cabbies performed only four pickups during the U.S. Open men’s tennis final in Flushing, Queens.
David Yassky, the city’s taxi commissioner, said that the Barclays Center’s numbers were why the city still seeks to provide hail service outside of Manhattan. “If a taxi is dropping somebody off at the Jay-Z concert, there’ll be a passenger there hailing it,” he told the paper. “But that same passenger is there on nights where there’s no Jay-Z concert.”
Previously, a study had found that yellow cab drivers were more likely to take passengers to certain areas if they knew they were going to be guaranteed a fat tip.