New Airport Railway System Slated for 2023

Community Council Hosts Information Session at Recent Meeting

By CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA | Reporter

A new railway project is underway as an effort to improve transportation options and alleviate traffic at Los Angeles International Airport by 2023, according to a presentation at the July 25 Pacific Palisades Community Council meeting.

The project will bring a 2.5-mile railway route with six stations and a capacity for 200 passengers at a time.

The free train, dubbed the “Automated People Mover,” will run 24 hours per day, 365 days per year and is expected to have a travel time of around 10 minutes from end to end, arriving at stations every two minutes.

“The core function is to really improve how you get to the airport, how you get dropped off at the airport and everything along those lines,” said Stephanie Sampson, director of communications for the LAX Landside Access Modernization Program, known as LAMP.

“We’re really trying to incorporate that mid-century modern feel that already exists at the airport,” said Anna Kozma, senior community liaison for LINXS, the developer of the project.

The $5.5 billion project will also bring new facilities known as an Intermodal Transportation Facility that will serve as drop-off and pick-up stations, as well as add several thousand paid parking spaces. The western station on Westchester Parkway and Airport Boulevard is expected to be completed in 2021.

An eastern station that will connect to the Metro rail system will open alongside the people mover in 2023.

A new 5.9 million-square-foot facility will aim to consolidate all car rental services into one space, and get rid of the notorious shuttle traffic currently plaguing pick-up and drop-off terminals.

“We are moving all of our rental car operations into this facility, which means no more need for rental shuttles,” Sampson explained. “Instead, everything happens through the people mover and then into this facility.”

Seven rental car companies representing 14 brands have already signed on to be a part of the new building, according to Sampson.

The complete ADA-compliant project will be pre-security to allow minors or loved ones to be escorted throughout the new train system up until security check-in at the airport.

When asked about traffic during the construction of the project, Sampson said, “It’s going to be rough. There is no talking lightly about that.”

While certain steps are being taken to mitigate traffic, like night-time construction between 11 pm. and 9 a.m. in the terminal areas, traffic is expected to be heavily impacted.

With lane closures, demolition of current structures and foundation drilling already under way, the bumper to bumper roadway to 2023 has begun.