City Council Approves Long-Awaited People Mover To LAX

Travelers leaving Los Angeles International Airport by car, van, bus, shuttle or taxi have no choice but to wait at the chaotic curbside, often for more than half an hour, as drivers fight through crawling lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic.

But within five years, the defining experience of traveling in and out of LAX could change, as the city moves forward on an ambitious and long-awaited transit project that will connect the airport to Los Angeles County's growing mass transit system.

To applause from a City Hall audience, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved up to $4.9 billion to design, build, operate and maintain an elevated train that will whisk passengers in and out of LAX's central terminal area and carry them to a car rental facility, a ground transportation hub and a station on the Metro Crenshaw Line.

The sleek people mover is a major part of L.A.'s efforts to improve transportation in traffic-choked Southern California before the 2028 Summer Olympics. The project will break ground this year, and service is expected to begin in March 2023.

Los Angeles World Airports' progress toward a transportation system that provides an alternative to driving comes years — in some cases, decades — after other major world airports. As flight volumes grew and traffic worsened in Southern California, travelers learned that getting in and out of LAX could be chaotic, miserable and unpredictable.

"So the short answer is, 'Hooray, finally,' " said Genevieve Giuliano, a USC transportation planning professor. "Los Angeles has lacked a feasible, reasonable connection to the airport for a really long time. That's so important for a large airport that's stuck within a major metropolitan area."

Learn more at L.A. Times

Kate McCartyL.A.