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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Roosevelt Island Tram Passengers Stuck In Cabin Over Manhattan Briefly Last Night - FDNY Tram Rescue Drills Today - Why Can't Both Tram Cabins Run During Non Rush Hours Ask RIOC Directors During Operations Committee Meeting

 Image From Duc Le (Tram in Picture was not the one stuck yesterday)

Hope you were not one of the unfortunate passengers on the 5:15 PM Roosevelt Island Tram to Manhattan on Tuesday evening. Passengers on the North Cabin leaving Roosevelt Island to Manhattan at about 5:15 PM got stuck between Tower 3 and Manhattan for about 8 minutes. One passenger reports:
North cabin from RI to Manhattan @5:16-ish. Stopped for 8 minutes adjacent to iPad billboard ad. Then we inched our way to Manhattan. Total ride 16 minutes.

Driver immediately radio-ed in. Told everyone to hold on. Did not provide ANY info. I specifically asked him to PLEASE communicate with us. He then said something was wrong with the computer. He did not offer more information.

About 20 passengers, including 5 kids. Everyone was calm and quiet.

Tram began to move very slowly, still no word from operator.

When we arrived, he thanked us, maybe for our patience, do not remember.
The passenger recalls explanation offered by Tram Cabin attendant:
Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you can see, the Tram has stopped moving.

I have radio-ed to my supervisor, who is investigating the matter.

At this stage, it appears the computer is not working properly.

As soon as I have additional information, I will share that with you.

For now, thank you for your patience and for remaining quiet and calm.
{Update 12:55 PM - the text above with the strike thru was not said by the Tram attendant. I was wrong. Rather than delete it, the strike thru indicates that text is withdrawn}

Another Roosevelt Island resident waiting at the Manhattan Tram Station at the same time adds:
Tram Stuck again
This time over 20 minutes. Almost over 2nd
i was on the manhattan platform waiting in the rain to go home. when it finally made it to manhattan, it emptied all passengers and then went back to RI empty while we stood in the rain. the platform was packed, no one else could walk through turnstile. we had to wait for south cabin to arrive and then not everyone could fit in, they were left in the rain. as we approached RI, the north cabin was manhattan bound again with a few people on it. my comment would just be, " please explain why these new trams get stuck so often, because I do not understand"
This morning the NY Fire Department is conducting scheduled Tram Rescue Drills so that they are prepared to handle situations in which passengers are stuck on the Tram Cabin and cannot be returned to the Station via the Tram. According to this Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) advisory:
Please be advised the FDNY will be practicing on one Tram cabin on Wednesday, November 30th, from the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Please note regular Tram service will not be interrupted during this time frame.
More information on FDNY and NYPD tram rescue drills available at previous posts.

During the RIOC Operations Committee meeting held last Monday, RIOC Directors were asking why both Tram Cabins do not run during non rush hours as they do during rush hours. The Directors questioned whether there was a cost increase in running both tram cabins during non rush hour times and if so, what was the increased cost. RIOC staff indicated that they did not have that information but would look into it.

Will have more on this issue.

UPDATE 3  PM - RIOC Public Safety Department Incident Report for 11/29 -30  describes yesterday's disruption is Tram service as:
Minor Tram Service Interruption  - A Tram cabin was out of service for a few minutes.  It was quickly restored to service.
UPDATE 12/2 - From RIOC:
On Wednesday at 5:20pm the North cabin stopped as a result of the Manhattan Station entrance sensor. After investigating the source of the trouble the sensor was reset and the tram brouhgt the passengers back to the station. Once the trip was complete, the North system was fully restored.


Trevre Andrews said...

Not to excuse any engineering shortcomings but I think the operational time of the new tram has been nearly 99% (if you don't count the 8 month delay in start up for which none of us has been compensated for and RIOC seems to have forgotten).  This is probably better than any percentage offered by any other mass transit system.  

20 minutes is nothing, have you ridden a subway lately?  And how many evacuation drills do we need on the tram and who is paying for all this?  I can understand one or two a year, but this must be nearly the 12th or 13th, couldn't FDNY's time be better spent elsewhere.  

What do you expect RIOC to do?  What reward do they get if they do 1% better or worse on things?  Aside from those members that live here (and frankly you can "live" here without living here), do they care about anything but the largest problems on the island?  They are not even paid, why should they care.  


YetAnotherRIer said...

I love how those two people emphasized the rain. I was there on the platform when it happened. Yes, it was raining but the only time we got a bit wet was when the wind came from the side. My family and I were standing pretty close to the 2nd Ave side of the platform so we probably got the wettest of all of them, which was very little. Also, when the tram left there were only 3 or 4 people left behind and only because they didn't want to board the crowded tram. A couple newcomers still squeezed in when the operator opened the doors one more time.

I think I am becoming the resident de-hyperbolizer on this blog. Some of the stories and complaints that are used here are an amazing read how some people perceive inconveniences and talk about them.

RooseveltIslander said...

that's why multiple points of view are a good thing. Roosevelt Island's version of Rashomon

Thanks for your contributions.

Tram_Rider said...

How could RIOC not know the cost of running two cabins vs one cabin?

The point of having two independent cabins was so that they could be run one at a time, instead of in tandem per the previous system. There must have been a cost basis for a decision to provide one cabin service.

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