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How Far From the Airport Should the LAX People Mover Start?

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A rail connection to LAX grows more real by the day, with Metro teaming with the airport's operator on four potential station options. The Transport Politic reports on the matter and writer Yonah Freemark is dubious about the benefits of such a connection (Metro's findings indicate the rail connection will carry about 4,000 to 6,000 daily riders). Freemark is even more critical when it comes to the idea of building an extra spur of the forthcoming Crenshaw Line to link up to LAX. Two of the four options under consideration include light rail stations underneath the airport's central area, with a people mover connecting travelers to specific terminals; another plan would have a light rail spur terminating near Parking Lot C, with a people mover taking off from there. Those ideas should be scrapped and the fourth option--a people mover taking off from the already-planned Crenshaw station at Century and Aviation (pictured)--should move forward, he writes. The reasoning: the spurs would split service on the Green and Crenshaw lines (both will utilize the Century/Aviation station) by sending half the trains to LAX and reducing the number of trains headed to the South Bay, Norwalk, and north to the Expo Line. Under the Century/Aviation plan, travelers could get off there, jump on the people mover, and commuters heading to other parts of the city wouldn't be inconvenienced.

Another benefit of building the people mover out to Century/Aviation (about a mile from the terminals) is that the majority of the cost would reside with LAX operator Los Angeles World Airports; a light rail spur would have to be paid for by Metro (Freemark says LAWA has more dinero than Metro).

If the people mover at Century/Aviation advances, it should be made as convenient as possible, Freemark argues. "LAWA's visual description of the proposed connection suggests that light rail customers would have to ascend an escalator, cross a broad boulevard on an elevated bridge, then descend an escalator, to get to the people mover. It is certainly possible to envision a more convenient approach to making this connection. Every step that makes using transit easier attracts an additional customer." Metro and LAWA will pick the route next year or in 2014.
· Light Rail to Los Angeles International: A Questionable Proposition? [Transport Politic]

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

1 World Way, Los Angeles, CA 90045