Study on better connecting LAX to Metro Rail to be considered by Metro Board

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It’s one of those planning questions that’s only — and I say ‘only’ sarcastically — several decades old: how to improve mass transit to Los Angeles International Airport?

A study to answer that question may soon be underway. The Metro Board of Directors on Thursday is scheduled to vote on a contract of about $4.7 million to STV/PB-ConnectLAX Joint Venture to conduct environmental studies for a transit project to connect the Green Line and Crenshaw/LAX Line to the terminals at LAX.

As the Metro staff report states, some of the alternatives to be considered — but not limited to — include light rail, bus rapid transit and an automated people mover. The city of Los Angeles agency that runs LAX is already studying a people mover as part of its airport modernization plans.

The Crenshaw/LAX light rail line will stop at Aviation and Century boulevards, to the east of the airport grounds (see the above map). It’s closer to LAX than the current Green Line Aviation/LAX station, but still about 1.8 miles to the Tom Bradley International Terminal. The Crenshaw/LAX Line will also allow westbound Green Line trains from Norwalk to turn north and continue to the Aviation/Century station on the new Crenshaw tracks.

A project to connect the Green Line and LAX was included in the list of projects to be built with Measure R funds — in fact, state elected officials from the South Bay and Westside wouldn’t have let Measure R go to voters without it.

It’s also a closely watched project outside of Los Angeles: At a recent field hearing in Westwood, Rep. John Mica (R-Florida), who chairs the House’s transportation committee, recently spoke of his great desire to travel to and from the congested LAX area by train.

Mica is also in a position of great influence: the next federal transportation spending bill has to pass muster with his committee. Metro is seeking to have that bill include language to accelerate the construction of Measure R projects by having greater access to federal loans and other financing.

32 thoughts on “Study on better connecting LAX to Metro Rail to be considered by Metro Board

  1. @Bob

    First of all, giving priority to shuttles over cars is only a bandage solution to an ever growing problem. The fact that LAX is a mess with traffic jams is because how poorly it is designed and how badly it’s manage to handle any traffic.

    You have all these redundant buses that goes to the same place. Why is there even a bus for Hilton LAX and another one for the Parking Spot Century when they are literally right next door to each other? Why can’t we use say the G Shuttle that takes me to Aviation/LAX station as a terminal connections bus when it makes stops at every terminals anyway?

    You have pedestrian walkways with traffic signals that clogs up traffic at the busiest curve: the T3-TBIT-T4 area is always packed with shuttle buses, taxis, private automobiles, police cars, and even TV crew vans all trying to squeeze in and out.

    Now everyone says that they need a people mover to every terminal. No, all one needs is to demolish the central parking structures and build one or two rail stations there so it can be accessible to all terminals from the center. LAX’s terminals are laid out on an inverted U shape. Just put a inside the U and you get a visual image of what I mean. One or two train stations in the middle of the “U” could easily serve as a train station that links every terminal.


  2. Most of the posted comments about the BART/SFO connection are misleading, if not outright incorrect.
    There IS a direct link from BART into SFO. The station is located on the departure level (not the basement) of the international terminal. But SFO also has an automated peoplemover system that connects between the domstic/international terminals and the airport’s parking garages. So a passenger taking BART to SFO but destined for one of the domstic terminals simply exits the BART sttaion and takes an elevator to the people mover level, then takes the automated tram to the desired airline stop. It’s SOOOOOO easy even a caveman could do it.

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