For your calendar: upcoming public meetings on connecting Metro Rail to LAX

The Crenshaw/LAX Line will bring a station to the intersection of Aviation and Century — closer to LAX but still 1.3 miles from the beginning of the terminal horseshoe. Some of the initial alternatives being looked to connect that station to the airport are a light rail line, a people mover and bus rapid transit. Project page here.

Above is a video about the project that Metro released last summer. And below is the announcement from Metro on the upcoming meetings:

Open House
Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 7:30 am – 9:30 am
Union Station/Gateway Transit Center – East Portal*
One Gateway Plaza, P1 Level (Near the Fish Tank)
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Community Workshop
Thursday, March 1, 2012, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Flight Path Learning Center
6661 West Imperial Highway
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Flight Path Learning Center is served by Beach Cities Transit Line 109 with connections at the Metro Green Line Aviation/LAX Station and LAX Transit Center. Free parking is available on site.

Community Workshop
Wednesday, March 7, 2012, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Union Station – Entrance on Alameda St.*
(Historic Ticketing Concourse)
800 North Alameda Street (Cross Street: Cesar Chavez)
Los Angeles, CA 90012

More information is after the jump.

*Los Angeles Union Station is served by Metro Red, Purple, and Gold lines, Amtrak, Metrolink, Metro bus lines 40, 42, 68, 70, 71, 76, 78, 79, 485, 487, 704, 728, 733, 740, 745, 770, and 910 (Silver Line), Dash B., Dash D, Dash Lincoln Heights/Chinatown, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Line 10, Torrance Transit Line 2, and Foothill Silver Streak. Parking is available on levels P2 and P3. The underground parking entrance is located on the west side of Vignes St. just south of Cesar Chavez Ave. Click here for Metro bus and rail maps and timetables.

Participate online!
A live video stream of the community workshop presentation and chat will begin at 6:15 pm at on March 1 and March 7, 2012.


The Open House on Wednesday, February 29th will feature information boards and opportunities for commuters to provide feedback. Technical experts and outreach team members will be available to converse with passers-by about the current alternatives analysis phase.


The Community Workshops on Thursday, March 1st and Wednesday, March 7th will provide an early look at alternatives and a forum to discuss them ahead of the formal environmental review process. There will be an open house, presentation, breakout sessions, and recap, providing a focused environment for reviewing technical information.

Spanish translation will be provided. Special accommodations and information in alternative formats are available to the public upon request. All requests for reasonable accommodations must be made three working days (72 hours) in advance of the scheduled meeting date. Please call the Project Hotline at 310-499-0553 or the California Relay Service at 711.

Please visit us online for more information:

15 replies

  1. It’s time someone shed daylight upon this useless project! Now–I am a huge supporter of both light and heavy rail in LA. But the Crenshaw project is absurd. To Matthew Coogan: “So they want me to get on a people mover, then a rail car, then transfer twice with all my luggage, just to get downtown?” (Might want to add a spouse and a couple kids to that equation.) Imagine the average tourist trying to figure this out… Then again, imagine the average tourist trying to get even further to a hotel at Hollywood/Highland or Universal.

    Which brings me to what I personally believe to be the unspoken truth behind the Crenshaw Line: It is a pork-barrel project designed to placate residents of South Central while big money is being spent on far more useful projects in other parts of the city. In other words, the LAX aspect of this project is nothing more than a charade. No local resident will use it, and no tourist will understand it. The line goes from nowhere to nowhere.

    I don’t think your average South Central resident wakes up and exclaims “I’ve got to get to LAX!” If you want to rightly serve the good people of South Central, have the line shoot straight up to Hollywood, or, at least, CONNECT to something!

    It seems everyone has their heads happily in the sand on this. I don’t know what to label this fiasco: PC? Groupthink? Political expediency? If LA really wanted one-seat LAX accessibility, they could and would do it.

    • Hi JM;

      I think there’s a couple of points worth considering on this project:

      1. For a lot of business travelers making quick trips to L.A. and with little luggage, the transfer from Expo to Crenshaw/LAX Line or Blue to Green Line may be easy.

      2. LAX is a huge employment center and any kind of connection can perhaps help workers reach the airport far quicker than the current setup.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. If a Metro Station is going to be built at Aviation/Century to connect the people mover with the Crenshaw Line, it has to be right and provide services more than what we have at Aviation/LAX today. Metro needs to have staffed presence there all the time to answer questions from confused tourists, provide transit maps, as well as sell TAP cards topped up with passes or cash value. Otherwise, you’re going to have is a bunch of confused people not knowing what to do to get where they want to go using mass transit. Also, if fare gates are going to be installed, make sure they install those wide speedgates instead of narrow turnstiles as lots of people are going to be hauling luggage around.

    A good example of this is NYMTA’s Jamaica station which links the E line with the AirTrain to JFK; lots of NYMTA staff helping first timers to NYC, lots of automated ticket machines in multiple languages, and wide fare gates in consideration of travelers with large luggage.

  3. Steve,

    I appreciate your response, but I really must stand by my previous statement, albeit paraphrasing Mr. Coogan’s view: “So they want me to get on a people mover, then a rail car, then transfer twice with all my luggage, just to get downtown?” I could sort of, kind of, maybe, almost understand this project if it had a hard connection to the Expo. The demographic you point out is pretty pretty pretty thin for the zillions it’s going to cost.

    Let’s face it–the name of the game in LA is “tourist.” And no tourist is going to bother with this crazy thing. Face it–this is a “feel good” project for South Central under the guise of an LAX connection, which it doesn’t even do well.

    We should do the people of South Central a favor and tell the truth about this expensive project, skip all the LAX silliness, and take the people of South Central where they really want and need to go (and it isn’t LAX).

    If we want a train to LAX, then let’s build a train to LAX, and take the tourists where they want and need to go.

  4. Thanks for the post Steve. This is a vital project–there were tons of people on Vancouver’s airport-to-city train and I believe tourists (especially younger) will take our trains to get to Santa Monica, even if it means transferring at Crenshaw. And you’re right, there are thousands of employees that need to get to LAX.

    In other news, where are the meetings regarding the Green Line extension into the South Bay? Getting that train, at least to the South Bay Galleria, is imperative.

    • Hi Neal;

      I don’t believe there are any public meetings scheduled at this time on the Green Line South Bay Extension project. Here’s the web page for the project, which is in its draft environmental study phase. I agree it’s a good project and I’ll provide updates as they occur.


      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  5. JM,

    They are only building the Crenshaw Line because it’s along an existing rail right-of-way. That makes the project significantly cheaper. I don’t, however, think this line will be useful in any way unless it stops at LAX. The inability to get an airport stop has been LA’s greatest transit failure.


  6. Another way to look at this is a potential for LA to finally have a “loop line” similar to London’s Circle Line or Tokyo’s JR Yamanote Line (or Oedo Subway Line).

    Crenshaw Line: Expo/Crenshaw to Aviation/LAX
    Green Line: Aviation/LAX to Imperial/Wilmington (Rosa Parks)
    Blue Line: Imperial/Wilmington to 7th/Metro
    Expo Line: 7th/Metro to Expo/Crenshaw

    If all the tracks of these four could be connected to form a “loop line” (I dunno, Los Angeles Line or something?) then it would be a viable option that actually gets from LAX to Downtown LA without a transfer.

    But the Crenshaw Line as a standalone product, I could understand how it’s can be construed as a pork barrel project.

  7. Judging from the comments so far, I can tell that Metro is going to have to have a lot of workshops, public meetings and information sessions on this project. Public meetings are a good thing, especially if they can inform and educate people.

    LAX has been one of the most obvious gaps in the Metro Rail system. I don’t buy the “nobody wants to go to LAX” argument; have these people dealt with the traffic around LAX? Maybe “nobody goes there, it’s too crowded?”
    In addition to the obvious tourist and business travel, all of those airline passengers are served by an army of airport employees.

    And, I hope Metro makes it clear that this is about more than Crenshaw — this line will link with the Green Line, and the Green Line needs to extend into the South Bay and Santa Monica.

    I agree about the need for transit ambassadors, although I’m not sure that’s Metro’s job. The airport needs better public transit information and the visitors bureau or somebody should do a better job of telling about what’s reachable by transit in car-stereotype Los Angeles.

  8. This line will be very important to the LA region if/when it is extended to the purple line and beyond to Hollywood. In doing that, it will fulfill the need for LA to have a direct rail line that connects the airport area to the most popular tourist destination in LA and at that point will certainly skyrocket in ridership. And I certainly echo what Y Fukuzawa suggested in the third comment. Metro should take that advice. With that said, BRT really should not even be on the table as far as an airport connection option. That will attract much less ridership than a smooth, level platform, higher capacity people mover or direct LRT. Also, people should think of the Crenshaw Line as just a segment of a much larger rail line to come; the LAX/Hollywood Line!! Ahhh, that has a nice ring to it.

  9. I second the loop line idea. Having a loop line in the middle of the LA Basin is also good for future transit planning.

    If portions of the Expo, Crenshaw, Green and Blue Line can link up and share tracks to create one loop line, that will create a perfect solution to link LAX and Downtown LA without a transfer involved. This will also end up being cheaper than building a new line. Limited and express services can be provided with few stops along the way to speed up service.

  10. Why do people equate airport transit with “what will business travelers do?”

    Airports are huge employers. Those workers need to get in and out somehow, and giving them an option to roads will speed up the trip for everybody else, including the hotel shuttles that many business travelers use.

    I live on the East Side. I take the Gold Line to the Union Station Flyaway. The Flyaway will continue to be a better option for that trip long after Expo/Crenshaw is built. But, the Flyaway is weak in the first mile and the last mile. Dropping passengers at a people mover would be a great option to reduce the time needed getting in and out of the airport by bus.

  11. I have always felt LAX needs to be served on “3 levels”
    1/ Hi quality fast link from LAX to LAUS. Crucial link for business travelers, international travelers who wish to reach LAUS our major link to the whole So Cal region and hopefully all of California with Amtrak and NSR
    2/ Light rail matrix of Green and Crenshaw crossing in an “X” pattern at the Imperial Station. Not all passengers heading generally north-south on these lines all need to detour into LAX to continue their trips. If Green goes one day from Norwalk to Century and on up to Santa Monica and Crenshaw comes from Expo and hopefully from Wilshire and even Hollywood on the north end and then down to Torrance and hopefully on to Long Beach on the south end. There are some long distance routes and they do not detour into LAX CTA.
    This delivers more locally living passengers to LAX and hopefully a lot of the thousands of employees working at LA
    3/ And a proper people mover connecting #1 & #2 to the CTA, also hooking up a consolidated Rental Car Center, maybe some of the hotels, remote parking and maybe even the future Bradley Terminals #2 and #3(?)

  12. I’m a business traveler who has collected millions of frequent flier miles over two decades. With LAX being my home airport, that place needed a mass transit system decades ago.

    The traffic at the airport has gotten worse every year. What contributes the most to the traffic jams there are all those redundant hotel, parking, car rental, employee, terminal connections, and Metro Green Line shuttle buses that make the horseshoe loop. Each one of those follow pretty much the same horseshoe and along Century Blvd. path but you can’t use the car rental shuttle as a terminal connections bus and you can’t use the Parking Spot shuttle to get to the airport Hilton right next door to it. Getting in and out of that loop could take as much as 20-30 minutes because of this.

    If you want to alleviate the traffic problems at LAX, start by getting rid of all those redundant shuttle buses and replace them with people mover that makes stops at the hotels, car rentals and parking lots along Century Blvd. as well as the terminal horseshoe. A BRT option should not even be considered, it’ll only make things worse.