Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Roosevelt Island Tram Resumes Service Today - Hurray!!!!!!!!

The Roosevelt Island Tram returns to service today.

UPDATE 1:10 PM - Well, the Roosevelt Island Tram Opening Ceremony is over now - great job by RIOC, POMA and everybody else who was responsible for it. As one of the passengers on the new Tram's first ride over the East River remarked:

It's Good To Be Back To Normal
Here's what the maiden voyage of the Roosevelt Island Tram was like courtesy of You Tube and ronigareth.

According to RIOC:
The completely rebuilt Roosevelt Island Tramway opened today, following a nine-month modernization project which replaced the previous 33-year-old tram system. The new tram reduces travel time, permits both cabins to start on the side with highest demand during rush hour, and includes extensive safety measures. The tram system is managed by Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), a New York State Public Benefit Corporation in charge of the management of Roosevelt Island.

"Roosevelt Island's Tramway is once again the most modern urban aerial transportation system in the world," said Leslie Torres, President of RIOC, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new tram. "It's built to serve residents, business, and tourists for the next thirty (30) years." Roosevelt Island is currently home to approximately 12,000 residents, open spaces, recreation areas, six landmarks, schools, and shops. The Tram continues to be part of the Metro Card fare system, providing free transfers to buses and subways. The infrastructure improvement was funded through a $15 million investment from the State of New York and $10 million from RIOC.

The Tram was designed to be more stable in high winds, eliminate impact of electrical and mechanical malfunctions, and allow for one cabin to continue operations while the other undergoes preventive maintenance. According to Brian Lawler, Commissioner and CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, "We created this tram with the convenience and safety of Roosevelt Island residents, businesses and tourist in mind. A state-of-the-art tram helps further our mission to create a model community of mixed-income housing, small businesses and plenty of open, green space to serve both island residents and the larger City community."

Key innovations for the new Tram include:

•Two separate Tram systems. Each cable track operates independently of the other, allowing for preventive maintenance and other servicing on one side, while maintaining service on the other.

•Cabins that are attached to a double hanger arms, providing for a more stable ride. The cabins of the previous system were suspended from a single hanger arm.

•Built-in operational and electrical back-ups including a separate motor for each cabin, back-up motors for the cabins, and four (4) back-up generators.

Pomagalski, S.A. (Poma), one of two companies world-wide capable of rebuilding the tram, was awarded the design/build contract in 2008, after a competitive selection process. POMA worked closely with local trades and contractors, under the supervision of RIOC and its engineering team consisting of New York based LiRo Engineering and Thronton Thomasetti, and Shea, Carr, Jewel of Denver, Colorado. During the rebuilding process, New York based contractors and employees were retained by Poma to the greatest extent possible. Leitner-Poma, the American affiliate has a five (5) year operating agreement to run the Tram with a New York based crew.

"I have loved New York City since my very first visit in the late 1970's and I find it to be the most fascinating, vibrant and dynamic city of the world," said Michael Seeber, majority shareholder of the Leitner-Poma Group. "For me it is a dream to know that an innovative product from our Group is adding to the glamour and excitement of the Big Apple!"

"We welcome the launch of the state-of-the-art Roosevelt Island Tram," said Senator Gillibrand. "Important, new upgrades to the aerial service over the East River are long overdue and will result in smoother, safer travels. These historic trams will once again be able to provide millions of passengers with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline."

"The tram is not just a vibrant symbol of all that is unique about Roosevelt Island – it's an only-in-New York icon of our great city just like the Empire State Building or Grand Central Station. It's also an extremely active, critical mode of mass transit, and I am delighted to join its thousands of riders in welcoming it back and better than ever!" said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.

"The Roosevelt Island tram is an iconic New York landmark. After months of renovations, Roosevelt Islanders will once again be able to enjoy the unique views and experience the tram as part of their daily commute. I'm excited to be here for the inaugural ride and I look forward to many more rides in the years to come," said Councilwoman Jessica Lappin.

"As the Roosevelt Island community continues to expand, it is important that its facilities and services reflect that growth. The extensive improvements to the tramway system will greatly benefit New York, as they will continue to ensure a safe, fast, and reliable ride for both residents and visitors of the island for years to come. We have all been anxiously anticipating this inaugural ride, and I would like to thank the RIOC Board and its President, Leslie Torres, for all of their labors, which have made it possible for commuters and tourists to now enjoy the increased efficiency of the modernized Tram," said Senator José M. Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx):

The tram modernization project was completed on budget and in 9-months time. "This major infrastructure improvement is an example of government at its most efficient. RIOC is thankful for the help, support, and cooperation of Commissioner Joseph Bruno of the Office of Emergency Management, Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn, and Manhattan Borough Commissioner Margaret Forgione, Police Commissioner Kelly, Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, Department of Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Manhattan Borough Commissioner William Castro, Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert Limandri and MTA Chairman Walder. We are also thankful for the help and support of the RIOC Board, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association, and Community Board 8. Last, but not least, we are thankful to Governor Patterson, without whose support this project would not be possible," said Mrs. Torres at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation of the State of New York was created by State statute in 1984 with responsibility for the operation and development of Roosevelt Island. A General Development Plan, which accompanied the 1969 Ground Lease between New York City and State, directed the development of "a new community" specifically providing for mixed income housing, an abundance of open space, protection of its six (6) City landmarked buildings, protection of the environment and innovative solutions to New York's technology requirements. ".. a demonstration of modern planners' capacity to harness technology for human use, while enhancing rather than degrading the environment.…", according to a 1976 editorial marking the naming of Roosevelt Island after our 32 President. The Roosevelt Island Plan is now nearly complete. The Four Freedoms Park, a memorial to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, is under construction and three more residential buildings are expected within the next few years. The Tram's redesign anticipates increased usage over the coming years.
Here's a picture I took on the first ride this morning from one tram of the other

and some scenes of Roosevelt Island residents attending the ceremony while waiting to take their first ride on the new Tram.

Will have more later.

It's great to have the Roosevelt Island Tram back!!!!!!!

UPDATE 12/2 - More Here.


Anonymous said...

And we are glad to have it back -- at least the ones of us who know about it.

And there are still plenty of residents who still do not know, and will not know unless RIOC posts some better info on the Red Buses, in the Bus Stops, at our commercial establishments AND at the kiosk at the subway.

C'mon Leslie, C'mon Fernando -- we know you are better than this.

Anonymous said...

When I see these crowds I wonder: don't people have to go to work or something? Just kidding. Glad the tram is back. I'll take my first ride in a few days. Let others work out the kinks first.

Anonymous said...



RI 360 said...

My first ride will be tonight late after work. Looking forward to it and not the F platform at Lex/63rd.

Anonymous said...

That was the same Tram Operator from when I was a teen on RI! 1976! Happy you all have the tram back!

Anonymous said...

Anyone who doesn't know the Tram is back lives in a BUBBLE. Who needs signs? Everyone's been talking about this for a while. It's on the RIOC Website, on both Blogs and was in the WIRE. Come on poster at 12:33PM, you have to be better than that!

jazzbo550@yahoo.com said...

Does a stoppage make news ? this evening at around 6.40 pm, the Island bound cabin came to a sudden halt about 2 tram lengths away from the Manhattan side, actually an emergency stop. Their were two operators in the cabin , along a with about 50% load. The two operators had no clue as to what was going on and even admitted it.They fiddled with controls and were finally told on the radio not to do anything. After a five minute wait, they hit the start button and it lurched to an emergency stop again. Next it was a 10 minute wait with no communication to the passengers. All this time the tram cabin was over 2nd ave. Passengers requested that they return to the dock, which was quite close by. REquests were ignored. (dint we hear that the cabins could move independently ?) The tram then crawled, yes crawled over the river with frightened passengers worried that it would come to a halt again. Still not a word from the operator and his buddy. finally it docked on Roosevelt Island with no word of explanation.Apparently the tram personnel claim it was a deliberate sabotage by someone who was pressing an emergency stop button. This was validated by public safety radio which was crackling about the issue , and the arrival of PSD cars. Did the tram people take an unnecessary risk by continuing to try and operate after the sudden stops ? What is the real story ?

Jay said...

C'mon jazzbo, admit it, you pushed the emergency stop button.


Anonymous said...

RIOC reaallly needs to get on the case and put the red bus stop for the Tram on the same side of the Tram and get a shelter up ASAP.

Forcing children, the elderly and people with disabilities and the stoller/shooping cart folks to cross the street to get to and from the Tram is silly, unneccessary and mostly unsafe.

Get with the program, Leslie, Fernando and the RIOC Board...now, rather than later.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know the new schedule for the tram? I got stuck waiting 25 min yesterday night because it's not running every 15 min on the hour anymore.

Anonymous said...

This morning, the Q102 bus driver said that there is no where for him to stop at the Tram because of the one way street. He dropped us off at the F train instead. There has to be a stop at the tram, no?

Anonymous said...

I called the RIOC office today and all of the kinks will be worked out soon. They really wanted to get the Tram operating. The Bus Stop will be moved to the same side of the street and the Q102 will be able to stop there. They will also be refurbishing both Stations too. Let's all be a little patient. I'm glad the Tram is back!

Anonymous said...

While it is great that the tram is back in service, I hope they are going to set up a schedule like it used to be. During rush-hour, both trams are just going forth and back which is great, but there has to be a schedule during off-rush-hour like it used to be; every 15 minutes from both side and if there's just one tram in service, they just have to make an offset on one side - no problem. It would just be so nice if one actually can plan the trip...

Now with the tram back in service, we are still struggeling with the red bus. Today, I took the tram twice and both time the red bus just left before the tram arrived at the station - coincidence or purpose? Why the hell isn't it possible to adjust the red bus with the tram during off-rush-hour. It really sucks...

And didn't someone point out that the new tram is more stable and not shaking anymore...

Anonymous said...

So kids and older people are incapable of crossing the street to get to the bus? I am at a loss that anybody would complain about that.. actually, let me take that back. Of course somebody would complain about it and use kids, senior citizens, and safety as arguments.

This is just about convenience and laziness. Yes, you have to walk 30 seconds longer to get to the bus and you have to look right and cross a street. Big deal.

Oh, and I have three small children and don't think this is an issue at all.

Anonymous said...

The first tram is still leaving at 6am, right? Does anyone know when the 2nd tram leaves?

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