Monday, March 1, 2010

Roosevelt Island Tram Shutdown Begins This Morning - Will Commuting From Roosevelt Island Be A Nightmare As Many Fear Or A Minor Inconvenience?

And so it begins this morning - a tram-less Roosevelt Island for what is hoped to be a six month period during which the Tram will be renovated and returned to service no later than late August/early September. NY 1 reported on the last day of the Roosevelt Island Tram:
The Roosevelt Island Tram is set to make its final East River crossing Sunday night before undergoing a six month-long renovation and repair project.

Service on the tram will be suspended beginning at 2 a.m. Monday.

"We'll miss it. We won't be able to go until September again, so that's why we wanted to go today to get one last fun ride," said Upper East Side resident Joe Covey.

The $25 million project will replace everything except the bases of the three towers that support the cars.

Project managers say when all is said and done riders can look forward to more comfortable cars and more reliable service.

In the case of a malfunction, like the one which left 70 passengers stranded for seven hours back in April 2006, cars will run on a backup power system and be able to return to the nearest station.

"It will be far more flexible during operation so it will be easier to load the people from one side to the other, even if there's maintenance operation on the other trams," said Project Director David Aubonne...
There's NY 1 video too.

The Daily News adds that the Tram Shutdown will impact others in addition to Roosevelt Island residents.
... Barbara Oyola of the Bronx typically takes the tram to her job at a Roosevelt Island coffee shop. She's expecting the shutdown to add an extra 75 minutes to her commute.

"I'll have to see the new tram to believe this is worth it," she said. "The F train stinks. Riding it is going to be the worst."

In addition to the F train, commuters can use the Q102 bus or take $1 shuttle buses to the Queens Plaza subway station and the E, G, R and V trains.

The tram carries about 2 million riders a year. City officials warn the work will also affect traffic on First and York Aves., as well as 59th and 60th Sts. and the Manhattan-bound upper roadway of the Queensboro Bridge.


Anonymous said...

Day 1 of Tramageddon: no noticeable difference in my commute at around 7:45am. I was thinking that some folks would start their commute early plus the usual tram crown at this time would have some kind of impact. Nope, nothing at all. As long as the trains are running on schedule I am sure the F line has enough capacity.

Anonymous said...

I am baffled about the extra 75 minutes commute comment in the Daily News. It takes maybe 10 minutes to walk from the tram station to the F train on 63rd and Lex (that's if she actually has to walk all that - maybe she actually gets off the 4/5/6 train on 59th St). Then maybe another 5 minutes from the RI station to Starbucks. F trains run more frequently than the tram. Plus her trains go against the "stream" of commuters.

Anonymous said...

The old Tram was just that - OLD. I'm looking forward to a NEW & more reliable Tram. Good luck to the workers who have to get it done by September 1 or face liquidated damages. At least, there's an incentive to get it done ON TIME.