Tram Service FAQ - MTA Trackwork Project

1. How has the MTA 63rd Street Track Replacement Project affected Tram travel?

  1. The MTA’s track replacement project has resulted in higher-than-normal Tram ridership. To help accommodate travelers, RIOC is now running the Tram with expanded rush hour service on Saturdays and Sundays, 7AM to 10PM (rush hour schedule means both Trams run concurrently every 7.5 minutes). RIOC is also running a Manhattan Red Bus Shuttle on Saturdays and Sundays from 3PM to 7PM to help with off-island travel, and a Red Bus shuttle to Queens Plaza on weekday mornings during rush hour to help supplement the Q102 bus. 


2. How many passengers can the Tram carry on a single ride?

  1. The Tram cabin can accommodate approximately 100 passengers per ride. 


3. What are the Tram hours of operation?

  1. Operating Hours are:
    1. Sunday to Thursday, 6AM to 2AM; 
    2. Friday and Saturday, 6AM to 3:30AM
  2. Rush Hours (both Trams running concurrently):
    1. Monday to Friday, 7AM-10AM; 3PM-8PM
    2. Saturday and Sunday, 7AM-10PM


4. Why doesn’t the Tram run on a rush hour schedule all day or 24 hours a day?

  1. Tram/passenger safety is top of mind when considering changes to service. The Tram requires daily maintenance and RIOC must be mindful of the additional wear and tear that will accumulate with too many added hours of operation. POMA, the entity that operates the Tram, has the discretion to put a second Tram car into service during off-peak hours if lines become exceedingly long and maintenance work is completed early.  


5. What does “Tram Maintenance” entail? 

  1. Tram maintenance includes line equipment inspections, tower sheaves inspections, haul and track rope inspections, mechanical electrical equipment maintenance, and most important, charging of the onboard control power supply. During system downtime, POMA alternates Tram cabin charging. Battery charging could take 2 to 3 hours for emergency charging and 4 to 5 hours for battery conditioning charging (conducted during nightly shutdowns).  


6. What is being done to help the elderly and disabled when riding the Tram?

  1. The Tram has priority seating for customers with disabilities and seniors. New signage has been added to both Tram cars reiterating that policy, and Tram operators will also make announcements during boarding to remind travelers to move from their seats when asked. 


7. Why doesn’t the Tram operate between 2/3:30AM and 6AM?

  1. To reduce wear and tear on Tram components and perform necessary maintenance on the Tram cabins. Rider safety is always paramount. Ridership during those late-night hours is also extremely low. 


8. Why isn’t there a priority line for island residents on the Tram?

  1. The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation has evaluated the possibility of implementing various preferences for Roosevelt Island residents in accessing the Tram, and we have chosen not to move forward with these proposals due to various legal and policy constraints. We understand the difficulties this disruption in F-train service has created for Tram riders (especially residents), however, we believe the creation of either a priority line or a reduced fare for residents would violate state law and could have adverse legal consequences for the Corporation. You can read the corporation’s full statement on this issue here.

9. What other methods of transportation are there to get on and off the island during the MTA trackwork?

  1. The MTA is still running an F train shuttle that runs between Manhattan (63rd Street station) Roosevelt Island, and Queens (21st Queensbridge). The shuttle train runs approximately every 20 minutes 7 days a week from 5AM to 11:59PM. Overnights (12AM-5AM), when the shuttle train is suspended, the MTA will provide a free Q94 shuttle bus connecting Roosevelt Island, 21 St-Queensbridge, and Queens Plaza. The Q102 Bus takes travelers on and off island to Queens, and RIOC is also running Red Bus shuttles to Queens on weekday mornings from 7AM to 11AM and weekend shuttles to Manhattan from 3PM to 7PM. In addition, the Astoria Ferry Service provides an alternative mode of transportation to and from Roosevelt Island.