When the LAX airport commissioners voted on their modernization plan last week, much of the attention focused on the controversial north runway move. But there was huge people mover news, too. (It was revealed late last year that Metro and Los Angeles World Airports are finally working on a plan that would hook up a new LAX transit system to the Metro system.) Pinch yourself: the approved plan calls for a people mover to run from Manchester Square along an elevated guideway, mostly along 98th Street, to the central terminal area, where it will travel on a path between the terminal buildings and parking garages. Let's take a look at the planned stops:
Consolidated rental car facility: the people mover will start at a consolidated rental car and parking facility at Manchester Square east of Aviation Boulevard, about a mile east of the airport.
Metro light rail station: The second stop would be at the planned Crenshaw Line station at or near Aviation and Century Boulevards.
Intermodal transportation facility: the last stop outside the airport proper would be at this planned passenger pick-up/drop-off spot to be built between 96th and 98th Streets at Airport Boulevard. The facility would be used by private cars, door-to-door shuttles, and buses.
Terminal area: After crossing a bridge over Sepulveda Boulevard, the people mover would make 3 to 5 stops around the central terminal area.
The elevated guideway would require pilings as high as 20 feet, which, in the terminal area, would block views of the Theme Building. The exact path of the people mover has not been determined, but the plans will aim to keep the views unobstructed where possible. The plans also call for a portion of Lincoln Boulevard to be located "below grade and/or tunneled" and for the discontinuation of the LAX shuttle from the Green Line. Long-term parking at Lot C would continue as it is, and possibly even gain some space if the current bus facility is relocated to the intermodal transportation facility.
As with the rest of the modernization plan, the overall plan still needs city approval while the people mover project will need to be voted on separately by airport commissioners. So don't lose SuperShuttle's number just yet.
· LAX Specific Plan Amendment Study: Final EIR [PDF]
· LAX Could Have a Subway Stop Connecting to Metro By 2020 [Curbed LA]