Metro and ARTT co-sign Letter of Intent to begin negotiations on developing gondola to Dodger Stadium

Renderings: Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies.

Metro announced on Thursday that it has signed a Letter of Intent with Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies LLC (ARTT), an action that formally begins the negotiations necessary to make a privately-funded aerial gondola to Dodgers Stadium a reality. 

“This is a critical milestone in developing an innovative and exciting way for Dodgers fans to get to the game while reducing traffic,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “For the sixth year in a row, the Dodgers have led Major League Baseball in attendance and we want to keep that streak going by finding ways to make it more convenient to reach the stadium.”

The Letter of Intent signals Metro’s interest in implementing the project and moves it from the Unsolicited Proposals evaluation stage to project development. Metro and ARTT will now negotiate to reach agreements on roles and responsibilities for planning and constructing the gondola.

“The Dodgers are excited that Metro is moving forward with new, innovative ways for people to get to and from Dodger Stadium,” said Tucker Kain, Chief Financial Officer of the Los Angeles Dodgers. “We will continue to work with local agencies and community groups on ways to improve the stadium experience for Dodger fans, stadium visitors, employees and local residents.”

“The signing of a letter of intent with Metro is a critical step in building the gondola between Union Station and Dodger Stadium,” said ARTT Project Manager, Martha Welborne. “This privately-funded, zero-emission transit line will have the capacity to move thousands of people every hour while reducing traffic and directly linking Dodger Stadium with the region’s public transit system. We look forward to working with Metro staff to get the aerial off the ground and fans flying to the stadium in 2022.”

Metro has run the popular Dodger Stadium Express free bus service from Union Station since 2010. A second route between Harbor Gateway Transit Center in the South Bay and the ballpark was added in 2015.

A gondola and other options for improving access to Dodger Stadium were part of an informational study in 1990 by the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission, which later merged with the RTD to form Metro. The idea was never pursued until earlier this year when ARTT revived the concept and submitted an unsolicited proposal to Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation.

Metro created its Unsolicited Proposals program in 2016 to encourage innovation through partnerships with the private sector that would not have occurred through the agency’s normal procurement process.

“This proposal is precisely the kind of out-of-the-box thinking we envisioned when we set up our Unsolicited Proposals process,” said Metro Chief Innovation Officer Joshua Schank. “By allowing potential partners to come to us with ideas and solutions, Metro has positioned itself to tap into the creativeness and ingenuity of private sector innovation.”

17 replies

  1. This is a great idea, especially if they can work it into Union Station. Now in order to make it something to use all year, not just Dodger Stadium events, would be a nice overlook build to look over downtown , much the way people look over the city from the Griffith Observatory. Then maybe build a couple restaurants along the edge of the rim that can be used on game days and non- game days. Then work in some housing – as some people will pay for the views and maybe the sales of the housing will help offset some of the cost of the project. Also maybe a bike path from the top terminal out into Elysian Park to provide a bike connection from downtown to the park.

  2. 5000 people per hour- so like, this will serve 5000 people on game days. Dodger stadium seats 50,000. It might have more capacity per hour than Elon Musk’s stupid tunnel though.

  3. I agree with a monorail or even a trolly or streetcar but not from union station,the gold line runs right at the bottom of the hill build a station right there and run them from there,metro should not pay for it The Dodgers should

  4. Also, Elon Musk recently proposed to build a 3.6-mile underground tunnel to Dodger Stadium from a Metro station on Vermont Avenue!

  5. Sounds like a tourist attraction. Trolly cars would carry more people or maybe a monorail?

  6. Having rode the New York Roosevelt Island Tram and Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (the largest in the world) I think this has potential to be an iconic addition to Los Angeles. Maybe it will be path forward for meaningful public transit to hilly destinations and neighborhoods through the region as it was in the case of Medellin Metrocable.

    • Don’t people still have air rights above their property? Unless this fiasco is only above the public right of way, streets, it seems to me it will be illegal.

  7. What is there to negotiate?

    Metro shouldn’t fund constructing it.
    Metro shouldn’t fund operating it.

    • Totally, a nice staircase would be even better. Walking next to a traffic sewer is no fun.

    • Yeah, cause breathing carbon monoxide from the idled cars on the CA-110 into my asthmatic lungs is totally my idea of fun.

  8. The MTA made a MAJOR BLUNDER when it did not route the Gold Line to have a stop at Dodger Stadium. Yes, it would have meant subway from Union Station, under Chinatown and out to the other side of the hills, but then we would not need to be building this stupid tramway (in earthquake country) and would have a built in park and ride for the Gold Line and Red Line. As well as the fact that e stadium area is used much of the year for other than ball games and the total people going to the venue must be over 1 million a year. The currently alignment of the Gold Line happened not because it was the best route, but because MTA owned the right of way (inherited from PE and UP) BAD PLANNING

    • Ugh, the Palm Springs Tramway is bigger and operating since 1963 and is closer to the San Andreas fault line for whatever that’s worth and ain’t had a problem in arguably more precarious rough terrain like other “earthquake country” in Mexico, Japan, Colombia, Venezuela, etc

    • “Yes, it would have meant subway from Union Station, under Chinatown and out to the other side of the hills”

      Come on, even you acknowledged that this kind of routing would be a bad idea.