Roosevelt Island tram

Subway got you down these days? Despite official reports that the system is improving, New Yorkers remain skeptical, in large part because the critical fixes to tracks, signals and subway cars are still on-going. While we await the improvements to impact on-time rates, we thought it would be fun to account for the diverse transit modes New York City is home to – from the extremely specialized to the alternative forms of mass transit.

1. Bronx Zoo Monorail

Bronx Zoo Monorail
Photo by Julie Larsen Maher, courtesy of the Bronx Zoo

There’s a monorail in the Bronx Zoo, yes there is! In fact, last August, the Wild Asia Monorail celebrated its 40th anniversary. The monorail, which runs through the Wild Asia section, is nearly two miles long and is open air, providing for a safe and scenic way to view the wildlife, which can include tigers, elephants, red pandas, and rhinos. The design of this section of the park also keeps the urban jungle at bay, as well as protect the animals beneath. Wildlife Conservation Society (which runs the Bronx Zoo) writes “Because visitors face the exhibit and the city behind is blocked, a ride on the monorail feels like a truly immersive experience into the environments of Asian wildlife.”
Riders also hear a recording that tells them about wildlife conservation work in Asia.

When the ride opened, the Wildlife Conservation Society was actively involved in research on the preservation of Asian wildlife and the “monorail allowed [the Wildlife Conservation Society] to bring knowledge of the animals the organization was working to save, and the organization’s efforts towards conservation to the visitors of the Bronx Zoo.” The ride takes about 20 minutes and costs $6. It operates on a seasonal schedule, reopening next April.