Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation

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Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation
RIOC logo.svg
LocaleRoosevelt Island, Manhattan, New York City
Transit typeLocal bus, Aerial Tramway
Number of lines1 bus
1 aerial tramway
Daily ridership1,566
Chief executiveSusan G. Rosenthal (President and Chief Executive Officer)
Headquarters591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, NY 10044
Began operation1984
Operator(s)New York State
Number of vehicles7 buses

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) is a New York State public-benefit corporation responsible for developing Roosevelt Island, a small island in the East River that is part of the New York City borough of Manhattan.


RIOC is guided by a 5-member board of directors.[1] Its management team is headed by President and CEO Susan G. Rosenthal, who reports to the board.[2] In 2017, it had operating expenses of $26.09 million and a level of staffing of 175 people.[3]


Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation was created by New York State in 1984 to manage development and operations of Roosevelt Island. Before RIOC there existed other state agencies which ran the island's day-to-day operations such as the Welfare Island Development Corporation and later the Roosevelt Island Development Corporation. The first RIOC Board and President were appointed by the Governor in 1986.

The New York State Urban Development Corporation (UDC) operated New York City’s Welfare Island, as Roosevelt Island was previously known, prior to RIOC. Development of the island was based on the principles of urban "new communities" under President Lyndon Johnson’s "Great Society" programs of the 1960s and early 1970s, and development of the "new" community there was authorized by the 99-year ground lease and accompanying General Development Plan (GDP) agreed upon by New York City and New York State in 1969. The NY State GDP, which has been amended from time to time, provides for the development of housing, shops and community facilities for a mixed-income, handicap-accessible residential neighborhood.

Roosevelt Island requires specialized operations and infrastructure maintenance such as the aerial tramway, an on-island bus system, an underground pneumatic tube garbage collection system, and seawall improvements. Basic services such as MTA stops on the subway (Roosevelt Island station) and bus routes (Q102 bus), as well as water and sewage input and output, are provided by the City of New York.[dubious ] Meanwhile, RIOC supplements these services with its own specialized operations, infrastructure, and capital improvements.

Today, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation manages a mixed-income community of between 12,000 and 14,000 residents featuring numerous parks and greenspaces, recreational facilities, and six city-designated landmark buildings. The waterfront promenade circling the island provides panoramic views of New York City icons such as the United Nations Headquarters, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the Queensboro Bridge, and the landmarked Pepsi-Cola sign in Queens.


Roosevelt Island Red Bus
Roosevelt Island Red Bus Orion VII hybrid 2.jpg
Now-retired OBI Orion VII OG HEV 07.501 #2 on the Red Bus shuttle.
ParentRoosevelt Island Operating Corporation
LocaleRoosevelt Island
Service areaRoosevelt Island - Octagon, Main Street, Tramway, Cornell Tech
Service typeShuttle bus
Fleetsee below
Fuel typeDiesel and Hybrid
OperatorRoosevelt Island Operating Corporation
WebsiteOfficial website

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation operates the Roosevelt Island Tram and the Red Bus, which connects the tram to island locations. As of 1 November 2020, the service is free.


Route Termini Streets traveled Times
Red Bus Octagon Apartments
888 Main Street
Southpoint Park Main Street, East Drive, West Drive Monday-Sunday, 5:30AM-2:30AM[4]
Octagon Apartments
888 Main Street
Roosevelt Island Tramway station
Main Street, East and West Drives Monday-Friday, 7AM-10AM[5]

Bus roster[edit]

Active Roster
Photo Year Make Model Powertrain Notes
5-6 VII NG #5 2009 OBI Orion VII NG HEV
Cummins ISB BAE HybriDrive
hybrid system
7 VII NG #7 2007
  • Ex-OBI demo.
    • Demoed with the MTA as #1294.
  • Purchased in March 2010.
8-9 XD40 #9 2016 NFI XD40 Xcelsior Cummins ISL9 Allison B400R
  • Purchased to replace Orion VII OG HEV buses due to unreliability.
10-11 XD40 #11 2018 Cummins L9
Retired Roster
Photo Year Make Model Powertrain Notes
1-4 VII OG #2 2005 OBI Orion VII OG HEV
Cummins ISB BAE HybriDrive
hybrid system
  • Retired
  • Bus #3 remains on the property, but is a non-runner and has no license plate



RIOC operates the island's high-tech sanitation system, called automated vacuum collection (AVAC). In this system, a computer turns on the trash receptacles in each building every hour, opening a valve that releases garbage into one of two underground pipes. These pipes then suck the garbage into the AVAC complex, where dust and waste are filtered, packaged, and released.

Public safety[edit]

RIOC operates the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department (RIPSD), the law-enforcement agency that patrols the island under the 1968 contract between the city and the state. The department protects the island's property including all public/state facilities, storefronts, and certain contracted residential buildings, and enforces state and city laws on the island. It employs approximately 40 officers.

Parks and recreation[edit]

RIOC maintains and rents out sports fields around the island for public use. The Sportspark exercise facility at the southern end of Roosevelt Island features a pool, basketball court, and ping-pong room.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "RIOC Board Page". Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  2. ^ "RIOC Exec Staff Page". Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  3. ^ "NYSABO 2018 Report" (PDF). pp. 16, 44. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  4. ^ "Red Bus Schedule | Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation of the State of New York". Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  5. ^ "Red Bus Schedule | Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation of the State of New York". Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  6. ^

External links[edit]