Tuesday, February 26, 2008


One of the things that I've always wanted to do is to take the 4-minute tramway ride from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island. And I still haven't, even though the Tram Plaza is not far from where I live. The Roosevelt Island tram began operating in 1976. It is the only aerial commuter tram in the US. Originally built as a temporary means of transportation for island residents by New York State's Urban Development Corporation, it has become a permanent part of the life of the island and a treasure for New Yorkers and tourists alike. The capacity of each cabin is 125. The tram makes approximately 115 trips per day, and about 100 on weekends. It glides at approximately 16 miles per hour and travels 3,100 feet. At its peak it climbs to 250 feet above the East River. Two cabins make the run every fifteen minutes from 6:00am to 2:30am (3:30am on weekends) and continuously during rush hours. 
Roosevelt Island offers great views of Manhattan and has 5 parks and 6 historic landmarks dating from 1796. The island is a beautiful residential island with a very limited traffic, and inhabited by a mixed income multi-ethnic community, including scientists working at the medical and research institutions on the Upper Eastside. The tram has been featured in numerous movies including City Slickers and Spiderman.

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