Roosevelt Island, NY – November 9, 2023 –Leitner-POMA, the operator of the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tramway, today offered updates on the status of the Roosevelt Island Tram. Riders have reported a few instances of Tram swaying over the past weeks, which have been caused by interruptions between the Tram cabin’s on-board communication system and the Tram station. POMA is continuing to investigate the cause of the disruptions, but assured riders the situation poses no safety risk for Tram users.
“The health and safety of our Tram passengers is paramount to everything we do,” said Armando Cordova, POMA Tram Operation and Maintenance Manager. “We are continuing to investigate what has caused the sporadic communications interruptions between the Tram cabins and station, which is what has led to the instances of cabin swaying. These interruptions do not happen regularly and do not pose any safety risk.
“In short, when these Wi-Fi and Bluetooth disruptions between the Tram cabins and station occur, the cabins go into a controlled safety stop, which in mid-air can cause swaying. A station agent then checks the system to ensure everything is working correctly, and after its reviewed by a technician, the flight continues. The system will not restart until an operator or technician takes steps to verify the system status, and Cabin attendants who are onboard during the stops always make sure to calmly explain what’s happening and reassure the passengers. The cabins are designed to handle these stops, which do not mean an unsafe situation has occurred; it only indicates the system is responding appropriately to ensure that a visual inspection takes place before continuing service.”
The Roosevelt Island Tramway is manufactured by Poma France, which has over 8,000 project installations throughout the world and an 80-year history. All systems on the Roosevelt Island Tram are monitored at all times, including position, wind speed, door status, speed, torque and more. The Tram also undergoes daily maintenance by certified technicians and inspections by the State to ensure code compliance, as well as third-party inspections to always ensure the highest level of passenger safety. The Roosevelt Island Tramway has an excellent track record, with most months reporting a 100% availability record, and an overall availability at over 99.93% since 2010. No injuries have been reported because of a Tram malfunction to date.
“Moving forward, a POMA team is scheduled to travel onsite to do a complete system check, and we will be sure to provide timely, transparent updates to the community while we work through this situation,” Cordova said. “For now, please know that the Roosevelt Island Tram remains one of the safest, most reliable methods of transportation anywhere. We take tremendous pride in running this remarkable system and will continue to do all we can to ensure passenger safety.”
Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation President Shelton J. Haynes added, “POMA is a world leader when it comes to operating aerial tramways, with an 80-year history of experience. We rely on them for their expertise in operating our Tram and appreciate all they do to keep our island residents moving. We will continue to do all we can to support POMA’s work and hope to have these periodic interruptions solved in short order. We know there are real concerns about this in the community, and we are all working to fix it as quickly as possible. What’s important to note is that even now, the Tram continues to run safely and reliably, transporting thousands of people to and from the island every single day. We will always prioritize rider safety and work to ensure every rider has a pleasant experience on our Tram.”
About Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC):
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) was created in 1984 by the State of New York as a public benefit corporation with a mission to plan, design, develop, operate, and maintain Roosevelt Island. With a focus on innovative and environmentally friendly solutions, RIOC is committed to providing services that enhance the island's residential community. RIOC manages the two-mile-long island's roads, parks, buildings, a sports facility, and public transportation, including the iconic aerial tramway. Additionally, RIOC operates a Public Safety Department that helps maintain a safe and secure environment for residents, employees, business owners, and visitors.
Akeem H. Jamal
Assistant Vice President, Communications & Government Affairs
Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC)
500 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, NY 10044
212-832-4540 (o)| Akeem.Jamal@rioc.ny.gov
Visit us: rioc.ny.gov