Taking the cable car in New York: a breathtaking view

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Why get on the Roosevelt Island Tramway?

First of all, why get on the Roosevelt Island Tramway? Indeed, this is probably not the attraction that would come to your mind in the first place. It's also not the one you hear about most often.



However, once on board you will be able to enjoy a single view on the East River, Roosevelt Island, as well as on 1st and 2nd Avenues. Without forgetting the iconic bridge connecting the districts of Manhattan and Queens, the Queensboro Bridge. Besides, if you are lucky enough to be in New York at the beginning of November, know that the New York marathon takes place on the first Sunday of the month. During the latter, thousands of participants will cross this bridge. And that just might result in a pretty amazing photo!

The journey only lasts 3 minutes, which should be able to fit somewhere in your schedule, right?

Once installed inside the cabin, you will circulate at a height of 76 meters. So for those who want a bit of thrills and a superb view without having the means or the desire to take a helicopter ride, this can be a good compromise! Yes, because to board the New York cable car, you don't have to spend a fortune, on the contrary! Just count 2,50$, and off you go!



The story of the Roosevelt Island Tramway

Built in 1976, the streetcar was originally used to connect Roosevelt Island to Manhattan. However, and even if later the subway was built (line F provides this connection since 1989) the cable car survived until today!

The Roosevelt Island Tramway has become something of an icon of the city, and was improved in 2010. This gave rise to two independent and much more stable cable cars.

Today, the New York Cable Car is considered a form of transportation just like the subway or the bus. Moreover, it is accessible with the Metrocard.

And even if you have never heard of it, know that it is still quite well known. For example, you may have already seen it in the Leon films, Spider-Man, Dark Water, Les Faucons de la nuit or many others… And you should know that since its opening, it has carried no less than 26 million passengers!

New York cable car: some figures

First of all, did you know that the builder of the New York cable car is French ? Indeed, even if the initial manufacturer was Swiss, the manufacturer of the cable car as you will see it, and dating from 2010, is none other than the Poma company. The latter was founded by the French Jean Pomagalski.

Then, the distance traveled by the cable car is 945 meters, which will take you just 3 minutes. You will likely be sharing your cabin with a few other passengers, as each cabin can carry up to 110 guests at a time ! But don't worry, everything is done for, and the cabins are big!



Roosevelt Island Tramway: practical information

That's it, you've made up your mind, do you also want to board the Roosevelt Island Tramway? So go to 59th Street and 2nd Avenue to start your little adventure! However, do not hurry too much, because departures are every 10 minutes.

New York cable car prices

Also, regarding entry, you can buy a ticket for $ 2,50, or simply use your MetroCard if you have one. And even better: if you have a 7-day New York Pass, know that entry is included!

And then as far as you are concerned, I advise you to go for a walk on Roosevelt Island once you are on the other side. You will be able to board a minibus whose ticket costs only 25 cents.

New York Cable Car Timetable

The New York cable car operates Sunday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.. On weekends, that is to say on Friday and Saturday, he is on the way from 6 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. During these times, a departure takes place approximately every 10 minutes.

Having said that, I do not recommend taking the cable car during rush hour! Indeed, between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., and at the end of the afternoon and until 20 p.m., you could be squeezed like sardines! Prefer the calm of mid-day, which will make your trip much more pleasant!


And if you want additional information, I invite you to take a look at the official website of the city's cable car.

Visit Roosevelt Island

As I recommended, go for a walk on Roosevelt Island once on the other side! You will quickly have toured this 3 km long island.


At the time, the island mainly had hospitals and asylums… Rather sad, isn't it? Besides, it did not always bear the name of Roosevelt. It was called Minnahanock then Manning's Island, Blackweli Island and finally Welfare Island. It was not until 1973 that it was renamed Roosevelt Island. And it is since the 1970s, Roosevelt Island has developed and now has about 16.000 inhabitants.

So even if there is not much to do there, you can take a short walk to the river. Thus, you will admire the view of Manhattan from one of the benches provided. A little moment of calm before returning to the hubbub of central New York, in a way.

And then, at the end of the day, take the metro or go back on board the cable car to admire the view while enjoying the pretty lights and pink colors.

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