Urban Ttramway in New York


The Roosevelt Island operating company continues to entrust the operation and maintanance of its New York urban aerial tramway to Poma.



The Roosevelt Island Operating Company (RIOC), owner of the aerial tramway in New York City, has renewed its contract with POMA Group for five more years (until 2022) to operate and maintain its aerial tramway, linking Roosevelt Island to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. This operation and maintenance contract has been fulfilled on a daily basis since 2010 by teams from LPOA (Leitner Poma of America), the US subsidiary of POMA.


From New York to Cairo, Egypt, Kuelap in Peru and Algeria... POMA operates its equipment on a daily basis for its clients around the world. In response to demand, POMA recruits, trains and deploys a team that is 100% dedicated to the operation and maintenance of the equipment. In order to meet the growing demand to operate and maintain the equipment made by the company, POMA is putting in place a clear maintenance policy that is best suited to the specific conditions under which the installations are operated.


POMA is introducing the latest and most efficient operations tools on behalf of all its clients (CMMS, Digitized Operations logbooks, continuous vibration analysis...). Every year Poma invests to maintain continuous innovation in the O&M department in order to offer a high level of service to its clients.

The Roosevelt Island Tram of New York by POMA

In 2008, POMA succeeded in its bid to rebuild the famous red tramway at Roosevelt Island in New York. The company also secured the operations and maintenance contract for the next six years. The renovation work took nine months. At 11 o‘clock in the morning on Tuesday, November 30, 2010, the city of New York celebrated the opening of its new urban aerial tramway: The Roosevelt Island Tram. POMA dreamed up and designed a municipal transport system using technology that is unequalled in the world.


This 960-meter long tram connects Roosevelt Island to Manhattan in only minutes. Each cabin holds 110 passengers (109 passengers and 1 cabin conductor). The installation provides a transportation capacity of 1,200 passengers/ hour in both directions.


The Roosevelt Island Tram has become an icon for the city and transports its passengers over the East River in large comfortable cabins with unforgettable panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline to admire through the immense bay windows of the tram.It is open 365 days a year, 20 hours a day. More and more passengers use it each year and numbers have grown 40% to reach 2.7 million passengers a year.

Operational availability has been running at more than 99.25 Percent for the last seven years

The keywords for this unique installation are innovation, availability, flexibility and safety. Since being recommissioned in 2010, POMA teams have been responsible for its maintenance and daily operation. As a result of the technology and the POMA teams on hand in New York on a daily basis, The Roosevelt Island Tram enjoys operational availability levels exceeding 99.25%.

Roosevelt Island Tram

  • Length: 965 M

  • Verical rise: 18,25 M

  • Nominal speed: 8 m/s

  • Trip duration: about 3 minutes

  • Number of cabins:2 operating independently

  • Cabin capacity: 110 P.

  • Transport capacity in each direction
  • in Jede Richtung: 1.200 P/h

It has not suffered a single day of service interruption due to breakdown or repair in the last seven years of operation. The Roosevelt Island Tram operates 365 days a year, transporting business commuters to work as well as tourists visiting the Manhattan peninsular. On 27 August 2011, when the city was hit by hurricane Irene and on 29 October 2012 when tropical storm Sandy passed by, the Tramway was only closed to the public for a few hours.


On every occasion, it has been the last of the network transport systems to halt its activity while all other forms of public transport in New York had already closed (airports, subway and buses).


On every occasion, due to the skill of the teams that had been trained to cope with the most extreme conditions, it was the first service to resume operations only a few hours after these natural disasters.

This is a first in aerial ropeway transportation: offering extra wide tracks to cope with strong winds.

In order to cope with the fierce winds which occur frequently in this part of New York, POMA has designed an innovative ropeway transport system with extra wide tracks. The two carrying ropes are 4.2 m apart. Thanks to this structure, the cabins of the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tram remain steady even in the face of fierce winds. The cabins now move more quickly, reaching speeds of up to 8 m/s instead of 5 m/s for the old system.


Additionally, the cabins arrive and depart from the stations more quickly, comfortably and quietly. In the field of urban aerial ropeway transportation, new operators very often encounter operational and maintenance requirements like these for the first time. Due to its expertise and its teams, POMA offers excellent availability levels, and minimum maintenance and operational costs through its reliance on two key factors: its engineering and manpower.

About Poma

With over 8,000 lifts built worldwide in the past 80 years, the POMA Group is a leading player in ropeway transportation solutions. All over the globe, POMA has already demonstrated their knowhow and expertise in ropeway transportation in various environments, in various sectors: urban, snow, tourism, entertainment, science and industrial.


In addition, POMA provides operation and maintenance services based on clients’ needs and expectations. POMA’s turnover has reached €343.15 million. POMA employs 1,058 people over their various industrial sites, including 630 in France.

Technology exclusive to POMA: a two independent line system

The tramway in New York incorporates the most advanced municipal, ropeway transport technology. To meet the safety and availability requirements needed to optimize service, the POMA group developped a state-of-the-art dual track system that enables each vehicle to operate independently from the other as each is drawn by a completely separate system of engines, electronics and haul ropes.


Each cabin can move in either direction, regardless of the location or the direction of travel of the other cabin. This innovative transport system ensures optimum flexibility and transfer rates. To summarise, if there is a technical problem or a scheduled maintenance outage for one of the cabins, the other cabin continues to operate, which means the system is never completely shut down.