Roosevelt Island is a small island, barely 2 miles in length, located in the East River between the boroughs of Manhattan and Queens. The tramway was established as a temporary solution to the city’s commuter needs while the subway connections were constructed. Luckily, it remained in operation – New Yorkers had grown too fond of it.


Spectacular view from Roosevelt Island Tramway across the East River

The Roosevelt Island Tramway is an aerial tramway that spans the East River. At a height of 80 meters, you can enjoy fantastic views of the East River towards Downtown and Uptown Manhattan. From a height of approx. 80 meters, the tram makes for great photo opportunities of everything from the East River towards Manhattan. Getting onto the tram reminds me of a gondola you might be familiar with if you ski or snowboard. Unfortunately, the ride is only 4 to 5 minutes — we would have also enjoyed it if it were longer! The view is truly remarkable – we have included our video (see below) to peak your interest!

History of the Roosevelt Island Tramway

Roosevelt Island Bridge opened in 1955 and connected Queens with Long Island City. People reached the island via elevator. In order to make the trip more comfortable, the City of New York decided to include Roosevelt Island in the subway network. The tramway was to handle passenger traffic until completion of the subway connection. In 1976, the Roosevelt Island Tramway opened its doors, offering rides at no cost. When the subway opened in 1989, the exorbitant charge of USD 0.10 (USD 2.00 today) was introduced. Today, you can pay with your MetroCard! At the end of 2010, the cabin was completely refurbished and now awaits your arrival!

How to get to the Roosevelt Island Tramway

The tramway station is located on 59th Street, near 2nd Avenue. When you get off the subway, you are only 1 block away:

  • Lines N and Rto “Lexington Av / 59 St”
  • Lines 4 5 and 6 to “59th Street station”

Video of the tramway

Roosevelt Island Tramway
AddressMain Street Roosevelt Island
NY 10044
Public transportationLinien N und R zur "Lexington Av / 59 St" Linien 4
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