The Roosevelt Island Tram has been one of New York City’s most unique public transportation options since its opening in 1976. The 250 foot high aerial tramway sits above the East River and connects Roosevelt Island to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The tram follows its route on the north end of the Queensboro Bridge and spans 3,100 feet from end to end.
The tram has been in the public eye, and has been well spoke about, since its opening. It has been featured in many movies and television shows, and it is one of New York City’s most notable modes of transportation. Although the tramway is quite well known, it still has its secrets that not many know about.
Here are the top ten secrets of the Roosevelt Island Tramway.
1. The Original Roosevelt Island Tram Was Built by a Swiss Company
The old tram cars, circa 2005. Image via thenails on Flickr.
The Roosevelt Island Tram was originally built by the Swiss company Von Roll with American designers Prentice & Chan, Ohlhausen, after being selected by the city to supply and erect the tram.
Although the tramway is one of New York City’s many forms of mass transit, annually moving over two million New Yorkers every year, it is one of the few that isn’t operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It is instead operated by Leitner-Poma of America, with domestic supervision located at the tramway.