Metro Approves Airport People Mover

Airport Metro Connector: 96th Street Station Concept Artwork

The Metropolitan Transportation Board unanimously agreed to build a new light rail station at 96th Street and Aviation Boulevard along the Crenshaw/LAX Line that will carry passengers to a newly built front door—or “gateway”—at Los Angeles International Airport.

The board agreed that building an automated people mover at 96th Street is the most cost effective option and promises the most convenient transportation experience for travelers. The station must now be designed and funded. The Crenshaw/LAX Line is currently under construction and the new station would be added to that project.

“This is a good day in L.A.,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “A 96th Street people mover connection clearly accomplishes our goal of putting riders first — taking public transit users to the airport as quickly and easily as possible.

“At last we can put the Ghost of the Green Line to rest,” he continued, referring to the two-mile shortfall between the end of the Metro Green Line and the airport. Currently, passengers on the Green Line connect to LAX by a shuttle bus ride to airport terminals.

The people mover not only would connect the new station, but also a proposed consolidated rental car facility, the Crenshaw Line and a new front door to the airport to the Central Terminal, creating a significant convenience for the estimated 54,000 airport-bound passengers who are expected to use the people mover on a daily basis.

In addition, the people mover should ease traffic within the airport’s horseshoe, which currently sees up to 200,000 vehicles a day and is unsustainable.

The people mover is an efficient and convenient system used by dozens of the largest airports in cities throughout the country such as New York, Denver, Oakland, Houston, Miami and Washington DC. The Airport Metro Connector is one of the dozen transit projects to receive funding from the Measure R half-cent sales tax increase approved by 68 percent of Los Angeles County voters in 2008.

“Our next goal should be to see this connection built when the Crenshaw Line opens, in 2019,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “We can do this. In five years Los Angeles can proudly join the ranks of world-class cities with convenient, cost-efficient and state-of-the-art public transit to its airport.”