The Airport Commission voted Thursday to begin studying a $4 billion plan to build a people-mover at Los Angeles International Airport that would eventually connect to a Metro light-rail station.
The commissioners’ action clears the way for an environmental review of the LAX Landside Access Modernization Program featuring an automated train that would take travelers around the airport, picking and dropping them off at a planned rental car center, airport terminal facilities and the Metro Crenshaw Line station at 96th Street and Aviation Boulevard.
Mayor Eric Garcetti hailed the board’s action, saying the city is “one step closer to bringing rail to LAX and building the world-class airport our residents and visitors deserve.”
The plan would save passengers time and “also ease traffic at the airport, on our freeways and in the surrounding neighborhoods,” as well as create jobs and stimulate the economy, the mayor said.
The environmental impact review process is set to begin in January. Once the study is complete, the commission, City Council and the mayor would need to sign off on the EIR before construction could begin.
City officials are hoping to start building the people-mover in 2017.
Airport Commission President Sean Burton said the plan would “transform how people travel to and from LAX in the future” and help “relieve congestion, encourage transit use and create a reliable, efficient, time- certain arrival and departure experience for residents and visitors.”
Councilman Mike Bonin, who chairs the City Council’s Transportation Committee, said the start of the environmental review is part of an effort “to make good on a long-standing promise to all Angelenos” to “make it easier, faster and more convenient to travel through our airport.”
— City News Service
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