Roosevelt Island Tram: Reopened!

Post by Steven Dale

The rebuilt Roosevelt Island Tram. Image by flickr user bitchcakesny.

On Tuesday, New York’s Roosevelt Island Tram reopened after a 9 month, $25 million refurbishment.

The rebuild, conducted by Poma, transforms the system from an Aerial Tram to a Funifor-type system. That means vehicles will operate independently of one another. When one vehicle is taken out of service, the other can still be operational. This should have a significant impact on speed, wait times, quality of service and capacity. For obvious reasons, the system will still be called the Roosevelt Island Tram and not the Roosevelt Island Funifor.

For a history of the Roosevelt Island Tram, please check out an article I wrote for Urban Omnibus entitled Off the Road and Into the Skies. You can find the direct link here or a link by way of The Gondola Project here.

We’re hoping to have fresh, original video of the new system for you next week. In the mean time, here’s what the rest of the internet is saying about the reopening:

  • Transportation Nation interviews Roosevelt Island resident Cynthia Baird whose going to wait a day or two before riding the system “in case it falls.”

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  1. bah, now it's open. I happened to go to NYC twice in November, but they kept delaying the opening date (3 month delay on a 6 month schedule). All I got was a shot of the sitting system.
  2. @ ant6n, Yeah, tell me about it. This site is supposed to be the central place for this kind of stuff and we've got to link to other's sites. Luckily I've got a friend in NYC, and he's going to grab some new video for us this weekend.
  3. This is exciting! Those cabins look a lot sleeker and modern than the old ones. Too bad they didn't use gondola technology, it wouldve been cheaper and have more capacity compared to aerial tram technology.
  4. GRAND RE-OPENING CEREMONY ROOSEVELT ISLAND VISITOR CENTER (Roosevelt Island, NY, December 8, 2010) – The paint-stripping is complete, the copper roof has been installed and the new windows open to let in the soft breeze. The Roosevelt Island Visitor Center Kiosk is completely resorted and dignitaries and supporters will gather with the Roosevelt island Historical Society, which operates the center, to celebrate on Thursday, December 9 at 11:00 a.m. at Tram Plaza on Roosevelt Island. "Now that the tram is back, and the newly installed lighting illuminates the kiosk, we expect many more visitors will be attracted to the Visitor Center," said Judith Berdy, President of the Society. " Key funders for the project were the City of New York, with the support of City Council Member Jessica Lappin and the funding agency was the Department of Cultural Affairs. The RIHS has also published a new map and brochure, featuring the whimsical art of David Cain and design by Chris Enock. Donors to that project include: Poma, Riverwalk Crossing & Riverwalk Court, The Octagon – Becker +Becker, Urban American, Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, LLC, Amalgamated Bank, BL Companies, Coler Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility, Gristede's, Island House, The Main Street Wire, Manhattan Park, Rivercross Tenants’ Corporation, Thomas A. Fenniman – Architect, Westview, Gina Pollara, Jack Resnick and Roosevelt Island Day Nursery. For more information, please contact Judith Berdy, President of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society at 212-688-4836. The Roosevelt Island Historical Society promotes awareness of our Island’s unique story and pursues preservation of its landmarks and artifacts. For more information, please visit www.rihs.us. Note to Editor: Photo available; credit to The Roosevelt Island Historical Society.
  5. @ Janet, Thanks for this!

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