As opposed to the service cuts proposed by the 2009 MTA austerity budget the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation unveiled its new design for the tram. The double decker design took most residents by surprise as it was not expected that RIOC would be so forward thinking to take into account the island's growth and transportation needs.
There are still several right of way concerns that must be worked out as the tram is not allowed to drop below a certain height as it crosses Second Avenue. City Hall has stated through an unnamed spokesman that it is exactly this sort of innovation that the MTA needs to get us through the coming years. According to the unnamed spokesman "If they could build a double decker LIRR train and now the tram why not double decker subway cars" .
Roosevelt Island residents are fearful that the new design will be followed by a decoupling of the tram from the MTA metrocard system as it is rumored that the fare for the double decker tram will double to $4.