OMNY Update: Roosevelt Island Tram Riders Catch a Break

OMNY Update: Roosevelt Island Tram Riders Catch a Break

An OMNY Update report in Yahoo News says, “New Yorkers can keep on swiping MetroCards until at least 2024.” That’s good news, but it still leaves the Tram out of the loop and Roosevelt Islanders in the dark.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The Daily thanks George Reither for thoughtfully pointing us to this information.

Roosevelt Island Tram to Manhattan: An OMNY update says it accept MetroCards until 2023.

An OMNY Update, Delayed and Over Budget

Multiple issues cropped up in recent weeks, according to a Yahoo News article, itself a republish from the New York Daily News. A contract signed in 2017 giving Cubic Transportation Systems rights for rolling out OMNY through all of the MTA is not just running late, it’s already 40% over budget. That’s not all so bad for MTA contracts and is certainly better than the East Side Access Project that’s been a Roosevelt Island eyesore for years.

The MTA’s East Side Access Project, which uses this air shaft, is ten years overdue with a skyrocketing cost of $11 billion. Governor Hochul promised a finish date of December 31st, 2022.

With OMNY running late, Roosevelt Island Tram riders catch a break because MetroCards, set to expire this year, will still get you on until some time in 2024. That’s big because RIOC failed at getting any alternative fare collection system in place. They had no plans for an OMNY installation until mid-2023, leaving a multi-month gap. The announced delay saves them and Tram riders from a pending purgatory.

Although City Council Member Julie Menin and other elected officials prodded the sluggish, secretive state agency, RIOC has not shared any information with local residents. But a fiery, triangular exchange between them, Menin and the MTA exposed, at best, no better than a penchant for blaming and evading.

Today, because RIOC failed to act on time, commuters using OMNY readers cannot transfer freely to or from the Tram. Too often, that means unnecessary double fares. And it also means, unlike everyone else in the system, Tram users cannot take advantage of discounts offered systemwide.

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