NYC Cable Car System Reopens
NEW YORK (AP) - September 1, 2006 -- A cable car system that stalled and left dozens of people stranded above the East River for hours in April reopened Friday morning with upgrades including new motors, emergency provisions and even toilets.
The system relaunched a day after the state Department of Labor declared the cars safe to operate.
Both cars on the tramway, which shuttles commuters and tourists between Manhattan and Roosevelt Island while offering breathtaking views of the city from up to 250 feet high, stopped moving because of mechanical problems April 18. The breakdown stranded 69 people for about 11 hours.
Police staged a daring rescue, going up to reach the cable cars in a diesel-powered gondola and removing the passengers a few at a time.
The system has been repaired and tested since then, receiving upgrades that include a refurbished electrical drive, which powers the system, tram officials said. And in case of an emergency, each car now is equipped with blankets, water, food and a toilet with a privacy curtain. Car attendants will carry cell phones with their radios.
The tram system, which opened in 1976, was featured in the movies "Spider-Man" and "City Slickers."
About 10,000 people live on Roosevelt Island, a 2-mile-long, 800-foot-wide strip of land in the river between Manhattan and Queens. The island also is accessible by bridge and subway.
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