NEW YORK (CBS 2/ 1010 WINS / WCBS 880) – It’s a unique way to get to and from Manhattan. After a nine-month overhaul the new Roosevelt Island Tramway debuted Tuesday.
And as CBS 2’s Jay Dow reports, riders can now expect a lot more.
Everything about the new tram is geared toward assuring its riding public that it wont turn back the clock — and break down.
“This is the most modern tram in the world,” tram operator Greg Paravati told CBS 2’s Jay Dow.
WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reports
The old cabins were replaced with modern versions that each have a maximum capacity of 109 passengers. The $25-million overhaul also produced a new dual cable system that provides increased stability in high winds, as it hovers 230 feet in the air.
There are only two seating areas on the brand new tram because it’s really not built for the long haul. A trip to or from Roosevelt Island only takes about three minutes. But there are large windows everywhere — enough for everyone to enjoy the view.
“This is unique in America, and unique to New York,” said Leslie Torres, president of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp.
Tuesday’s re-opening gave the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. a chance to show off tram 2.0. and assure the public there won’t be a repeat of what happened in April 2006, when the tram lost power and stranded 69 passengers for several hours.
There’s also a new wireless communications system, to multi-level back-up systems. Everything is designed to ensure not only an enjoyable ride, but more importantly that no one gets stuck, again.
“It’s just wonderful having it back. It’s a trademark of Roosevelt Island,” resident Dr. Jerome Tolbert said.
The new tram system has another important feature: each car runs independently, so one can be taken off line without shutting down the entire system.