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The Roosevelt Island Tramway

Warning: On March 1, 2010, service on the Roosevelt IslandAerial Tramway will be suspended for approximately six months forextensive modernization and upgrades. For alternate bus schedules seehttp://www.rioc.com/

The 4 minute ride, which offers spectacular views to its passengers, has been praised in the New York Times as "the most exciting view in New York City!" It costs a mere $2.25 each way ($4 for a round trip) and students with tram permits ride free. Senior citizens and the disabled pay $1.00 each way.

Over 26 million passengers -- including commuters, tourists, students and seniors have used the tram. Each cabin accommodates a capacity of 125 people, makes approximately 115 trips per day, and about 100 on weekends. It glides at approximately 16 miles per hour and travels 3,100 feet. At its peak it climbs to 250 feet above the East River. Two cabins make the run every fifteen minutes from 6:00am to 2:30am (3:30am on weekends) and continuously during rush hours.

Official website


General Information

For tram information, call 832-4543, Ext. 1

Where to get it

TramPlaza is located at 59th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan. On the island a red minibus meets the tram and takes you throughout the island for 25 cents!

Where it takes you

In just four minutes you can travel from busy midtown Manhattan to the quiet, safe and beautiful residential Roosevelt Island. It offers great views, 5 spacious parks, 6 historic landmarks dating from 1796, and the opportunity to visit a limited traffic, mixed income multi-ethnic planned community.

In the Movies

The tram has been featured in many motion pictures such as Billy Crystal's "City Slickers" and Sylvester Stallone's "Nighthawks". It is currently featured in a popular attraction at Universal Studios Theme Park in Florida where King Kong "attacks" a tram filled with "passengers."


The Roosevelt Island tram began operating in 1976. There are 20 other trams operating in the U.S. and Canada but the Roosevelt Island tram is the only aerial commuter tram in the country. Originally built as a temporary means of transportation for island residents by New York State's Urban Development Corporation, it has become a permanent part of the life of the island and a treasure for New Yorkers and visitors throughout the world.


Constructed by Vonroll Ltd of Bern, Switzerland for $5 million. Today the cost would be more than $20 million.

Who runs it

The tram is managed by Interfac, a division of JWP on behalf of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation of the State of New York ("RIOC"). RIOC is a state public benefit corporation created in 1984 to run the island's services and complete the island's development.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation of the State of New York
591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York, NY 10044
Tel. (212) 832-4540
Fax. (212) 832-4582 or 593-3910