Meh, I was stuck on the upper roadway of the 59th Street Bridge last weekend, but the traffic allowed a good view of the passing tramway. It was only fairly recent that the small island in between Manhattan and Queens got a subway stop. Until that subway station was introduced, the tram was the fastest way between Manhattan and Roosevelt Island. Although before either the tramway or subway stopped at the Island, a trolley car ran along the bridge on what is now the pedestrian path. The trolley stopped in the middle of the 59th Street Bridge and passengers would take huge elevators down to the Island in an adjacent building.
A few years back, the tramway had stopped working, and people inside were stuck for hours, 10 or so. They were eventually rescued by helicopter, I ass-ume they have taken steps to avoid such a thing from happenning again.