The Los Angeles Airport Commission Thursday approved a $4.9 billion contract for the design and construction of the planned Automated People Mover system that will carry passengers among terminals and connect with nearby rail lines.

The 30-year contract, awarded to a consortium of companies known as LAX Integrated Express Solutions, also covers operation and maintenance of the 2.25-mile elevated guideway.

The system is expected to be completed by 2022, when testing will begin in advance of the People Mover opening to the public in early 2023.

“We are investing billions to modernize LAX, because it is America’s gateway to the world,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “Today’s vote brings us one step closer to rail at our airport, and a city that is better connected than ever before.”

The contract still needs the approval of the Los Angeles City Council, which is expected to consider it next week.

According to Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that operates the airport, the People Mover will feature driverless trains traveling among six stations — three inside the airport terminal loop and three outside the airport. The system is expected to connect with the Metro Green and Crenshaw/LAX light rail lines.

Electric-powered trains are expected to operate every two minutes, with each train carrying up to 200 people.

LAWA officials anticipate the system will be used by 85.1 million passengers per year.

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