“The Department has launched an investigation into the matter and is committed to a thorough examination of the facts,” Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon wrote. The Tram investigation comes on the heels of a request from State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright. Seawright represents Roosevelt Island as well as the Upper East Side and Yorkville.
by David Stone
Investigate the Tram
Frightening, sickening and sometimes injuring passengers, incidents of the Tram swaying out of control have repeated since September. It started with a six-hour shutdown caused by a WiFi connection issue, according to RIOC.
The same issue was also blamed for numerous wild swinging incidents thereafter. Neither RIOC nor contracted operator Leitner-POMA admitted to keeping any count but acknowledged “a few.”
At least one incident, reported in the New York Post resulted in emergency breaking that threw passengers to the floor. It has not been acknowledged by either RIOC nor Leitner-POMA.
One the contrary, in a press release – never distributed locally – and at a board meeting, both played down incidents reported by others as nothing to worry about.
“We are continuing to investigate what has caused the sporadic communications interruptions between the Tram cabins and station, which is what has led to the instances of cabin swaying. These interruptions do not happen regularly and do not pose any safety risk.”Leitner-POMA representative Armando Cordova
Finally, Seawright Had Enough
“Constituents report that this is not a ‘periodic interruption’ and it is posing a serious safety risk that is unmitigated,” Seawright responded, asking DOL to investigate the Tram. “I respectfully request an inspection of the conditions described by tram riders.”
RIOC has resisted calls for an independent investigation, insisting that Tram riders take their and Leitner-POMA’s word, even though the contractor has been unable to correct the flaw after two months. And the swinging incidents appeared to be getting worse.
Commissioner Reardon answered promptly: “The Department has launched an investigation into the matter and is committed to a thorough examination of the facts. We are working diligently to gather all relevant information and will provide an update once the investigation is complete.”