Will the Roosevelt Island Tram tumble out of New York City Transit?

Will the Roosevelt Island Tram tumble out of New York City Transit?

Don’t tell the Roosevelt Island Tram operators, but the MetroCard will be gone in a little over a year. That’s according to TimeOut New York. But what does that mean for Roosevelt Island?

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The Roosevelt Island Daily thanks Sylvan Klein for the heads up.

The Roosevelt Island Tram is already far behind


In 2023, OMNY will completely replace the MetroCard in New York City as we move toward a contactless payment system. The MTA finished installing all 15,000 OMNY readers across the city at 472 stations and on all 5,800 buses and Staten Island Railway stations on December 31, wrapping up the first phase of the rollout.

TimeOut New York/NYC’s MetroCard will be completely gone.

Full implementation of OMNY readers at all MTA resources wrapped up on December 31st, 2020. But Roosevelt Island is far behind because the Tram was not included in the upgrade.

Relics now, MetroCard readers were a big step forward for Roosevelt Island as it merged fare collections with the city system.

Fallout has already begun. Unprepared MTA system passengers now cannot transfer for free between buses, trains and the Tram, using OMNY. OMNY, which accepts smartphones and enabled credit cards, replaces MetroCards at the start of 2023.

That’s closer than you think, just 15 months away, but Roosevelt Island appears unprepared.

Not a word has come from RIOC, the MTA’s sister agency now hosting the last of the MetroCard only readers. Someone needs to awaken the perpetually out of touch state agency because conversion for everyone else happened nine months ago.

Back when RIOC abandoned its Tram tokens, the MTA made it feasible by installing readers in both Tram stations. That came after intense lobbying by Residents Association president Matthew Katz and city council member Jessica Lappin.

But the comity appears over. The MTA simply bypassed RIOC, moving into the 21st Century, leaving little sister behind.

So near and yet so far… OMNY readers in the Roosevelt Island Subway Station.

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