Friday, February 26, 2010

Last Ride On The Roosevelt Island Tram At 2 AM Monday Morning - Come Party At Riverwalk Bar & Grill And Take Last Historic Ride

There are certain milestone historic events in which one would like to be a participant. The final supersonic flight of the Concorde, last home game at the old Yankee Stadium, final flight of the Space Shuttle and fall of the Berlin Wall come to mind.The voyage of the Titanic - well probably not the Titanic.

Another historic occasion will take place this weekend and it will be on Roosevelt Island. The final ride of the Roosevelt Island Tram will take place Monday morning at 2 AM. Come celebrate this historic event of the Tram's retirement with the folks at the Riverwalk Bar & Grill as we take the last ride on the Roosevelt Island Tram. Should be lots of fun.

This is how they celebrated the last Tram ride at Jackson Hole Wyoming. An example for us?

You Tube Video of Last Tram At Jackson Hole

Take a look at this great CNN You Tube video profiling Roosevelt Island Night Tram Operator Michael Fitton (Hope I got his last name correct). He'll probably be one the operators on the last Tram ride.

Also, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) issued the following press release on the Tram Modernization:
Roosevelt Island Tram Undergoing Major Modernization
March 1 – September 2010

(Roosevelt Island, NY, February 25, 2010) – The Roosevelt Island Tram will close on Monday March 1, 2010, for a complete overhaul. This unique public works project is scheduled to be completed by September 3, 2010. New Yorkers are encouraged to enjoy the last opportunity to soar 250 ft. above the East River and take in spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline from the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tramway, before service is suspended for six months. Power to the old Tram will be officially switched off at 10 AM, Monday March1, at the Roosevelt Island Station. Sunday, February 28th will be the last day to ride the old Tram. Tram riders can enjoy the 4.5 minute, 16 miles per hour, 3,100 ft. ride from 6 AM Sunday, February 28th through 2 AM Monday, March 1, 2010, when the last Tram ride leaves the Manhattan Tram station. Service on the new Tram is scheduled to be restored by September3, 2010.

Specifically, the Tram Modernization Project will:

• Increase reliability.
• Extend service for 30 more years.
• Permit each tramway cabin to operate independently in the event of: maintenance, malfunction, and adjust for ridership variances during peak and non-peak times.
• Avoid high level emergency rescue operations as the rescue system will be integrated into the Tram’s basic operations. In the event of a malfunction of any component or power failure, the cabin cars can be brought back to the nearest station using redundant power and motive systems,
• Reduce downtime for maintenance and repairs. One lane can be shut down for repairs while the other lane can provide uninterrupted service.
• Reduce maintenance and operating costs.
• Improve the quality of travel, providing a smoother ride under high winds due to the new wide track rope gauge.
• Bring even higher levels of energy efficiency through the use of State-of-the-Art technology.

Roosevelt Island’s Aerial Tramway system, serves more than 2 million riders a year. The Tram began service in May 1976 serving New Yorkers well beyond the 17 years it was expected to operate. Built as the first urban mass commuter tramway service in the world,the Tram was expected to serve only as a “stop gap” until long delayed subway service was provided to the new residential community being developed on Roosevelt Island. Stephen Shane, RIOC President and Chief Executive Officer said that “Called futuristic when installed in 1976, the Tram modernization project will make this the foremost aerial Tramway system for the 21st Century. Once the overhaul is completed New Yorkers can count on fast and energy efficient service and the most beautiful commute in the City for at least the next 30 years.”

This major, one-of-a-kind, public works project is budgeted for up to $25 million, funded by a $10 million RIOC appropriation and a $15 million State appropriation. During the six-month project, alternative transit from and to Roosevelt Island will be provided by the MTA Subway F line, the Q102 bus and special RIOC red bus shuttle service. Check for transportation alternatives and project updates.

Since it began operations in 1976, the Roosevelt Island Tram has attracted much acclaim and interest. Passengers marvel at the breath-taking views of the Manhattan skyline -- in particular the United Nations, Chrysler, and Empire State buildings -- and the boats traveling the East River below. It has been featured in numerous movies, including Nighthawks, City Slickers and Spiderman, among others.

The Project Team consists of:

• Owner: Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation of the State of New York (RIOC).
• Owner’s Representative and Construction Managers: LiRo Engineers, Inc.
• Owner’s Engineer: Parametrix, Inc.
• Design-Build Contractor: Pomagalski, S.A. (Poma).
• Civil and Structural Engineering Design Consultants to Poma: Thornton Tomasetti,
• Fabricators and new Tram Manager: Leitner-Poma of America, Inc.,
• Local Subcontractor, Fabricator and Erector: Metropolitan Walters, LLC,.
• Demolition and Civil Construction: Coppola Paving and Landscaping Corp.

For more information about the Roosevelt Island Tram Modernization Project, please visit or contact Rosina Abramson, RIOC V.P. for Planning and Government Affairs at 347 398 2238.

About The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation of the State of New York (RIOC) is a public benefit corporation and a political subdivision of the State of New York. Since 1984, RIOC has been responsible for realization of the 1968 Roosevelt Island General Development Plan (GDP). New York State implementation of the GDP arises from a 99 year lease from New York City to New York State for the development and operation of the 147 acres comprising the former Welfare Island, located in New York City’s East River. For more information, please visit
and a Project Briefing.
RITram Briefing

I inquired of RIOC President Steve Shane:
It has been suggested that RIOC consider operating the Tram for free on Sunday, it's last day of operation - similar to what occurs on Fourth of July when fireworks are viewed from Southpoint Park.

Any chance of that happening?
Mr. Shane replied:
We considered it, but all it does is promotes the MTA to which most transfer freely after swiping on RI or coming back, without the revenue realization to RIOC. If there were no swipe, no free transfer.
Next six months of the Tram Modernization Project should be very interesting. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Riding the last tram to Manhattan? How am I suppose to come back? By the overcrowded F train?


if you live on Roosevelt Island take the 1:45 to Manhattan and the 2AM back from Manhattan. For others take the 2 AM from Roosevelt Island and we'll wave to each other in the middle.

Anonymous said...

I like your suggestion to Mr Shaine about free trams rides on Sunday. It would probably have attracted some Manhattanites
(who might come back in future)
and nostalgic islanders. The majority of Sunday riders are not necessarily commuting to work

Anonymous said...

You guys make it sound like we'll never have a tram ever. As I recall correctly we survived without tram for 4 months or so a few years ago. It's not going to be any different. We all will survive the downtime.

Anonymous said...

Ref Anonymous 1:44pm

The current situation is different from the very outset.

The repairs in 2006 were not planned,and the repair time was prolonged as spares had to be manufactures to order.

There were only 8-9,000 residents on Roosevelt Island and still room on the F-train

Anonymous said...

Not sure where those numbers are coming from but the only difference between now and 2006 is two additional buildings (which are not even close to full at this time). The Octagon as well as one of the newer Riverwalk buildings was already open then. There were more than 9000 residents on RI in 2006.

Anyway, my commute this morning went very well. How was yours?