Final study OKd for new LAX transit station

 

An important hurdle for connecting Metro Rail to LAX was cleared today when the Metro Board of Directors approved the final environmental study for the Airport Metro Connector 96th Street Transit Station project.

The project involves building a new transit station at Aviation Boulevard and 96th Street near the airport that will be the primary transfer point to a people mover that will serve the LAX passenger terminals. The station will serve Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Line trains as well as Metro and muni buses. There will also be a pickup and drop-off area for those arriving by private vehicles and a bike hub.

With the study done, the project will move into the design and procurement phase. Even though the project is not part of the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the contractor building that rail line is doing some work to make it easier to build the station later.

Measure M is scheduled to supply $347 million for the project in addition to $234 million from Measure R, the state and other sources. Under the M spending plan, the project is scheduled to break ground in fiscal year 2018-19 and be completed 2021-23. The Crenshaw/LAX Line is forecast to open in fall 2019. Los Angeles World Airports has said they are trying to complete the people mover by 2023 with an eye toward a possible Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in 2024.

21 replies

  1. Maybe the new President will make LAX great again by throwing money at the people mover project, so it can be done before the end of his term…..

  2. Overall, I think that LAX making a huge mistake by not replacing their upper CTA roadway with an APM that serves each terminal individually as is the case at SFO, JFK, ORD, etc. Their current proposed design requires far too much walking to reach the terminals. This will especially be a problem with mobility-impaired passengers and those carrying small children. Many passengers will probably require wheel-chair assistance even if moderately mobile.

    The same is true at your 96th Street Station. As is the case at the BART/SFO station, the two platforms should be parallel to each other to allow more room for transfer facilities at either end of the platforms. This would entail adding still another APM station to serve the East ITF, but passenger convenience MUST come first, over costs.

    Adding another $Billion or maybe less to a $15Billion LAMP Project should be worth it. I sincerely doubt that LAX did a detailed human factors study when finalizing their LAMP design.

    In closing, LAX says that its prime objective for the LAMP project is to reduce vehicular traffic in the CTA. As long as LAX provides curb-side access for cars and buses, I sincerely doubt that this objective will be achieved. As long as curb-side access is available, people will choose it over an APM that requires excessive walking and more wasted time.

  3. To clarify, the $347 million and $234 million are for the construction of just the new station or for the people mover as well?

    • According to the original Measure M documents, the total cost estimate, in Year of Expenditure Escalated FY2015$, for just the station and Green Line connection was $635 Million. Thus the Source numbers are apparently only for the station and the adjacent facilities.

      The Automated People Mover (APM) is being funded by LAX as part of its $5-billion Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP), which also includes two ITFs (Integrated Transfer Facilities or parking lots) and a CONRAC (Consolidated Rent A Car facility). See Section 2.4.1 of http://connectinglax.com/files/LAMP_DEIR_REPORT_092016v3.pdf for details of the current (in my opinion, very poor) design of the APM.

  4. Another comment — In other discussions, several reviewers have questioned the fact that LA Metro does not currently plan to provide a one-seat train ride from Union Station or Downtown LA to or from the LAX Station. New York provides this service to JFK via subways and the Long Island Rail Road, and San Francisco does likewise via BART. Same with the Greyhound Station, which is currently only served by local bus lines.

    LAX and LA Metro should do likewise if LAX is to be rated well above its current rating as the 97th best airport, or just barely in the top 100. I assume that LAX is not very proud of this rating. Both LAX and LA Metro should do joint, detailed, studies of how other major airports resolve their landside AND airside (Security) access issues and try to match them as much as they can. Although impractical at LAX, the DFW APM provides airside service directly to all five terminals.

    IAS things stand now, the most LA Metro direct route will be to transfer between the Blue and Green Lines at the Rosa Parks Station. This may be acceptable to LAX employees, but not necessarily be acceptable to passengers with luggage or small children. What with 12-minute mid-day frequencies on both lines, this really is not an attractive option. This will be exacerbated by the current design of the LAX APM requiring long walks and not really solving LAX landside access problems.

    In all probability, passengers will prefer Fly Away buses or Shared-Ride Van services to reach LAX, and will demand curb-side access which will still be available in the current LAX landside access program.

    There needs to be an integrated LAX-LA Metro study on how LAX can best accommodate present and future depends for air transportation. So far it appears that all involved are working in a vacuum with little coordination.

    As I learned in a 40-plus years career as an Aerospace Engineer, one must never “Make Vast Plans with Half Vast Ideas.”

    Another slogan we had was “We never have time to do the job right, but plenty to do the job over.”

    • There already is a one-seat ride from Union Station to LA via the Flyaway service. Even with a full rail buildout, Flyaway buses will be faster than direct train service would be due to the design of LA’s light rail system not allowing for express train services. You can hop on a Flyaway bus and be at Union Station before you’d make it to the current Expo line. Also remember that Flyaway doesn’t use standard Metro buses and is actually quite comfortable. As much as I’d like to see LA’s rail service allow for express trains that would increase commuter ridership (imagine express service from DTLA to Santa Monica or Long Beach to DTLA), it’s not feasible without a massive overhaul of the entire network and new ROW expansions.

  5. I would like to see Metro look into Express Service on trains during the evening rush hour! For example- Gold Line- Union Station to Sierra Madre and APU/Citrus, Blue Line- to Green Line transfer station (forget the name now), Wardlow and Long Beach. Red Line. Hollywood/Highland and North Hollywood.

    • Caltrain currently has overtake tracks at several locations to allow their Baby Bullet Trains 319 and 329 to overtake limited-stop trains 217 and 227 trains, respectively. There are short stretches of 3 and 4 track lines to permit this. See http://www.caltrain.com/schedules/weekdaytimetable.html.

      According to the 2012-Final-Caltrain-California HSR Blended Operations Analysis at http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Caltrain+Modernization+Program/Documents/Final-Caltrain-California+HSR+Blended+Operations+Analysis.pdf, Caltrain, as part of its Blended System to accommodate California High Speed trains, is planning to construct additional overtake tracks.

      As for the Metro Blue Line, according to the Altamont Press California Timetable #20, the parallel Union Pacific (formally Pacific Electric) Wilmington Subdivision freight line is single track from CP (Control Point) Alameda (near Compton) north to where it turns east a near Adams Blvd, although Google Earth shows this line as double tracked. Once the UP routed its double-stacks to the Alameda Corridor, this line is used primarily by locals serving the La Habra Subdivision (former PE Whittier Line) which branches off at Slauson Junction where the Blue Line is elevated to clear the BNSF Harbor Subdivision.

      Thus, there should be adequate room for LA Metro to construct a series of overtake tracks at stations over significant portions of the right-of-way between the Washington and Slauson stations, thus permitting non-stop service over this portion of the line. This could possibly be extended as far south as Compton. Thus, the Blue Line could in theory run rush hour express trains to Compton, stopping only at Washington, Slauson, Watts, and Imperial/Rosa Parks.
      As for airport service, an elevated, or even surface, LRT line could be constructed along Slauson between the Blue and Crenshaw lines, a distance of around 5 miles with perhaps, three intermediate stations at Broadway, Vermont, and Western. In this way, Metro could run frequent airport express trains between Union Station and the 96th Street LAX Station.

      Metro could even remodel the cars with roomy aisle-facing seats and baggage compartments in the articulation area, and could even charge a premium fare for this service.

    • Selected Green Line trains will be routed up the wye at Aviation Blvd, to allow them to access the 96st/LAX Station and the LAX APM after several long walks.

  6. The hope for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games will be dashed as the Euro-dominated IOC will avoid the USA with Der Fuhrer Trump in office like the Black Plague. They do not want a repeat of 1936 Berlin ever again.

  7. The sad thing is hundreds of millions of dollars will be used to build a people mover that is not as usable [only 3 stations] as the current system. And as everyone is getting older and more disabled the system will be less useful than what already exists.

  8. I would like to see another 20 to 30 year delay so that we can be sure that this is what Metro really wants to accomplish. I recall in 1992/1993, when discussions took place asking why the Green Line was terminating south in the middle of nowhere, Metro’s response was that a “tail” line to LAX would be added. Of course that “tail” turned out to be a shuttle bus, one that has proved to be so popular that over 2 million riders take this once an hour 40 seat crawler. In view of this, should we not wait another decade or two just to be sure that this is what the riders want?