Metro is going ahead with looking at rail connections to the airport, mostly in the form of a people mover like they have at many big-city airports, but, thanks to County Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Don Knabe, who don't seem to understand the issue, Metro will also continue to study sending light rail right under LAX, even though it will almost definitely never happen. Ridley-Thomas and Knabe successfully urged the Metro board yesterday to keep two LAX-connection options on the table that would require the Crenshaw Line veer toward and under LAX, even though it's already being built as we speak, the spur would cost $3 billion that no one has, and the FAA and Los Angeles World Airports, which operates LAX, don't want any tunneling under the airport. Most Metro officials are advocating for a grade-separated people mover—which is rail, by the way, contra the LA Times—that would connect the Crenshaw Line's nearest airport station to the terminals in just a few minutes. This is what huge airports like SFO, JFK, and Miami International have all done.
While some complain that folks won't want to transfer from the Crenshaw Line to the people mover, everyone would likely still have to transfer even if there was a station right under LAX—there are nine terminals. Mayor Garcetti urged the board to drop the two options that called for tunneling under LAX, since the studies are a waste of money, but he didn't get his way. Thankfully, the board voted to simply study cost and ridership estimates for the underground options, while the four alternatives that include a people mover will advance to full environmental reviews.
The four people mover options include two with stops at or very near the Crenshaw Line's Century/Aviation station and two requiring Crenshaw spurs, but no tunneling under the airport. Metro officials will report back in May and almost certainly tell the board again that running Crenshaw under LAX is unfeasible (as is building a new spur right now), so let's build a people mover at Century/Aviation and get this done already.
· Ride to the Airport [Curbed LA]