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The Roosevelt Island tram was suppose to be a temporary fix

By April 21, 2019 No Comments
USA - New York - Roosevelt Island Tram 1

Roosevelt Island is a small island in the East river between Manhattan and Queens and it is connected to the former by a cable car called the Roosevelt Island Tramway and is a super cool way to travel and is a relatively unknown feature of the Big Apple. I wanted to ride it when I sailed the Guiding Light to New York City in 2010, but it was undergoing renovations at that time. As soon as I made plans to visit New York again in last fall the Roosevelt Island Tram was at the top of my list of things to do. Conveniently, the hotel I got was across the river in Queens at the base of the Queensboro bridge, so getting to Roosevelt Island was a simple one subway hop and then I got a free transfer onto the tram and over the East River I went into Manhattan.

As convenient as it was for me, living on Roosevelt Island in the past was not as easy. It had been connected to Manhattan by a trolley line on the Queensboro Bridge since 1909. The trolleys to and from Queens stopped in the middle of the bridge to meet an elevator, which then took passengers down to the island. As the only connection to the rest of the city from the island, the trolley remained in service until 1957, long after most other trolley service had been dismantled. The reason the trolley stopped was a bridge from Queens was finally completed giving residents a way off the island, but not to Manhattan. Finally the tram system to Manhattan opened in July 1976 as a temporary solution for the island’s commuting needs, but as the new subway project fell further behind schedule, the tram became more popular and was converted into a permanent facility since the subway connection to the island wasn’t completed until 1989.

I loved riding the Roosevelt Island Tram and I think you should consider getting a lift on it if you ever visit New York City.

USA - New York - Roosevelt Island Tram 2
View of Manhattan and the Queensboro bridge as we cross the East River

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