Skip to main content

Featured Post

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park infographics: what's built/what's coming/what's missing, who's responsible, + project FAQ/timeline (pinned post)

Barclays Center says they've switched vendors to try to fix oft-faulty elevator at arena plaza

This is the second of four articles on the 3/3/20 Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting, held by Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority overseeing/shepherding the project. The first concerned timing for the platform and other project elements. The third concerned construction progress. The fourth concerned Barclays Center-related traffic issues.

For several years, advocacy groups have pointed to the often out-of-service elevator at the Barclays Center plaza--which leads to Brooklyn's busiest subway complex--as a sign that privately-managed elevator offer subpar service.

Elevator mezzanine level 3/5/20
At the meeting three nights ago, a representative of the arena said they had recently switched vendors. "So it's something that we are actively trying to fix," said Mandy Gutmann, Senior VP, Communications. "It requires a bit of an overhaul. And we are working to get full approval. To do that, we have to work for the city on that as well."

It's taken awhile. In November 2018, the advocacy group TransitCenter determined the Barclays elevator the worst performing elevator, in the system during the first half of the year.

At the time, Gutmann told me, "“We are well aware of the elevator’s operational issues and are frustrated that this is not resolved. The elevator manufacturer went out of business and as a result, the original parts are not available. We are working diligently to correct the problem by bringing in a new operator that will overhaul the parts and service it.” 

Persistent problem

The problem, however, has persisted. Last month, The City reported, based on Metropolitan Transportation Authority stats, that the Barclays elevator "functioned just 74.2% of the time in 2019... falling far beneath the 96.5% reliability standard aimed for by New York City Transit." 

Out-of-service elevator at plaza level 3/5/20
And TransitCenter, in a new report, dubbed the Barclays Center operating company the second-worst private elevator operator in the city. The Barclays Center, according to The City, didn't respond to a request for comment.)

As I noted on Twitter, TransitCenter blamed the MTA for insufficient oversight and recommended stronger contractual remedies and use of "off the shelf" rather than custom equipment and parts.

"It has certainly been a challenge with the elevator," Gutmann said Tuesday night. "And I completely understand, I have a baby. And I have a stroller, and I can empathize with people who are in that situation."

"So, trust me when I say it’s an important issue and it's something that we're trying to get done as fast as we can," she said. "We don't like being on that list."