Via The New York Post comes a video look inside the brand-spankin’-new Roosevelt Island Tramway cars. Out of service for the past nine months as the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation modernized a system prone to leaving commuters dangling 250 feet above the East River, the new cars are bigger, more stable and, supposedly, longer lasting than the ones they’ve replaced.
“Roosevelt Island’s Tramway is once again the most modern urban aerial transportation system in the world,” Leslie Torres, President of RIOC, said this morning. “It’s built to serve residents, business, and tourists for the next thirty years.”
The tram upgrades cost a total of $25 million — with $15 million coming from the state and $10 million from the RIOC. The modernized tramway includes two separate tram systems in which each cable operates independently of each other. This way, the RIOC can better conduct preventative maintenance while keeping one side of the tramway in service. Cabins are now attached with double-hanger arms for a more stable ride, and the tramway is now equipped with four back-up generators. (In April 2006, the tramway had stalled above the East River for 11 hours.)
“The tram is not just a vibrant symbol of all that is unique about Roosevelt Island,” Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said at the ribbon-cutting. “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.”