Roosevelt Island Residents Say Tram Repairs Are Creating Nightmare Delays

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tram troubles have been upsetting people on Roosevelt Island.

Commuters complained that construction is causing long lines and long waits.

Crowds have been past the turnstiles with lines down the stairs, and riding the Roosevelt Island tram hasn’t been easy.

“The line goes all the way outside,” one rider said.

“It’s a disaster,” another told CBS2’s Reena Roy.

People said since platform repairs started in July it’s been a mess with just one of two cars running between Manhattan every 15 minutes.

Another option to get off the island is the F train, but commuters said that’s usually overcrowded. There’s also the new city run ferry that launched just a few days ago, but people said it’s less convenient because it runs every 25 minutes.

“It’s frustrating when you’re trying to get around the city,” Nicholas Carovillano said.

“It’s part of a commuting pattern that isn’t replaced by a subway and certainly not a ferry,” Frank Farance said.

The state owner agency Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation manages the tram and has posted signs encouraging riders to allow additional travel time as construction continues. They’re also letting people know there is an alternative shuttle to Manhattan once an hour.

“The buses help, but they don’t solve the problem.” Al Noor Jiwan Hirji said. “There’s a lot of traffic on the Queensboro Bridge all the time.”

CBS2 requested an on camera interview with the agency multiple times, but instead got an email from the president saying they are working with the MTA and tram operator to speed up construction, and that work hours have been extended to include weekends in hopes of finishing up a month earlier than the original winter of 2018 completion target.

Officials said the repairs are necessary to fix the water-damaged and cracking platforms.

 

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