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'East River Skyway' Seeks to Connect LIC, Brooklyn and Manhattan With Trams

By Jeanmarie Evelly | September 16, 2014 3:55pm
 Dan Levy of real estate site CityRealty wants to use trams to connect Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.
East River Skyway
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LONG ISLAND CITY — The future of the city's transportation could be up in the air.

A real estate honcho wants to connect waterfront neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan through an elevated tram system — a plan he says would greatly cut commute times and relieve the city's crowded transit system.

The "East River Skyway" is a high-speed gondola system that could transport as many as 5,000 people an hour to points including Roosevelt Island, Greenpoint and the Lower East Side.

The plan from Daniel Levy, president of the real estate website CityRealty, proposes three potential routes, which could be done in phases at the cost of approximately $75 million to $100 million per phase.

It's not clear where the money would come from.

The tram system would first connect the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Williamsburg and the Lower East Side.

A second phase would continue the route north to Greenpoint, Long Island City, Roosevelt Island and the United Nations in Midtown, while a third would link the Brooklyn Navy Yard to DUMBO and the South Street Seaport, according to the proposal.

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"Given the exciting growth in Brooklyn and Queens, it is essential to adapt New York City’s transportation system to serve residents in these booming areas," Levy said.

The gondolas could get commuters from Williamsburg to Manhattan in just four minutes and between Queens and Brooklyn in 3-12 minutes, according to the plan.

Levy, who was set to present the plan to a Brooklyn real estate summit Tuesday, was inspired by gondolas already in use in cities like London and Singapore, according to a press release.

"Cities around the globe are recognizing the viability and efficiency of urban gondolas to overcome serious transportation challenges," he said in a statement.

"An aerial transportation system would be a relatively inexpensive and quickly-deployable solution here in New York."