If you see RIOC, tell them both Tram elevators are working


After over five years and millions of dollars spent, both of the new Tram elevators were operating yesterday afternoon. As recently as Monday, neither was working and one never had been. But in spite of media reports and their own promises, RIOC has been silent.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

New Tram Elevators, Same Old RIOC

Rendering of the new Tram Elevators as originally approved.

RIOC struggled with construction issues for more than five years, spending an astonishing $6.1 million, but then ignored the finished product. With the state agency under Governor Kathy Hochul operating like a leaderless assembly of independent parts, the much awaited completion limped quietly past.

Then, on Monday morning, visibility increased because, with neither elevator working, disabled, moms with strollers and others with heavy packages were left stranded. But no alert came out of RIOC.

One elevator went back in service by late afternoon, but the state agency that never gets it wrong missed that, too. And on Wednesday, with the second elevator working for the first time, they apparently didn’t know.

Is It Working?

After seeing the second elevator taking passengers up and down for the first time at around 3:00 yesterday, we checked back an hour later. It was stalled on the upper level, but there were no signs. And its call button was working.

On the Tram, we asked a RIOC Public Safety Officer if both elevators were now in service. He shrugged. He didn’t know.

So, we asked the Tram operator – not a RIOC employee and in no way responsible for the elevators. Both were working, he said.

“But the new one looks like it’s stuck on the upper level…?”

That stumped both. But don’t blame them. When there is no leadership giving directions, updating information, everyone’s freelancing, trying to do their best with what they have.

No word from Hochul’s Albany based team responsible for ordering around her twenty or so six-figure executives. The result, essentially, is that you are all on your own because nobody is in charge.

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