RIOC’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year, starting April 1st, hinges on the unthinkable… the end of Tram service for Roosevelt Island. Partly, that’s the result of the state’s original sin, failing to embrace democracy.
Roosevelt Island transit choices jumped into focus again, last winter, when the MTA threatened to gut bus service. And followed up with mangling a subway shutdown. Then, the pandemic threw it all out of sync, but as we ramp back to normal, here’s current overview.
The first Roosevelt Island Tram made it’s last run across the East River, ten years ago this March. Its replacement is safer and more reliable, but discovered by tourists, it’s not as special.
The big red RI Sign stays, RIOC’s board decided, just one year ago, and that brought closure after more than a year of protest. It did not bring satisfaction. Or respect. And the state says, “Get Over it, Roosevelt Island.”
Welcome to our Roosevelt Island Tram Guide for 2020/Coronavirus Update. With the opening of FDR Four Freedoms Park, then Cornell Tech, interest in Roosevelt Island soared. Soon, the Tram, New York City’s cheapest big thrill, caught the attention too.
The Roosevelt Island Tram’s 43rd Birthday caught historian Judith Berdy’s attention. “Happy 43rd Birthday,” she wrote in a May email. The Tram evolved from essential resource. It’s now also an adventure drawing more tourists than locals who count on it for commuting ever expected. Or welcomed.