Walk to the Promenade and LeftTour_South_3__Goldwater.html
Next Stop: GoldwaterTour_South_3__Goldwater.html
List of Stops List_of_Stops.html









Getting AroundGetting_Around.html
Roosevelt Island Historical Tourindex.html

    What IS that?  Or, for those of you who just got off it, what in the world was I riding on?  No, we're not going skiing.   Those red floating cars are part of the Roosevelt Island Tramway, known to Islanders simply as the Tram, which, from 1976 until 1989, was the only direct way to get to Roosevelt Island from Manhattan. Designed by Prentice, Chan & Olhaulsen and built by Swiss company Van Roll, the Tram was modeled after ski lifts that carry passengers up a mountain in a fraction of the time a conventional method would take.  The tram is also unique as being the oldest tram system in North America, and is currently one of only 2 aerial tramway systems in operation in the United States. With an average ride time of three minutes, delivering Islanders to Second Avenue at 60th Street, the Tram's speed helped advertise housing on the island with the campaign "from home to Bloomingdales in 3 minutes." 

    If you have a fear of heights, don't look down: the Tram carries passengers 250 feet above the East River. But don't worry, the spectacular view of Manhattan's East Side will keep your attention away from the ground.  The Tram makes over 115 trips a day, so anytime is a good time to hop on and see what Islanders campaigned to save after the subway arrived in 1989.

    Even if you've never ridden the Tram, it might look familiar to comic book fans: 2002's Spiderman saw the Green Goblin force Spider-Man to choose between saving a Tram full of passengers or his love, Mary Jane.  Although the scene was crucial to the film's climax, it caused the Tram to be out of service for weeks, leaving the F-Train as the only route to Manhattan.  Thankfully the Roosevelt Island Subway Station is just as interesting as the Tram!

South Tour Stop 2: Tram Station


Roosevelt Island Tram

Marena Wisniewski

Marena Wisniewski

Dave Paek Photography

Craig Nelson, across106thstreet.com