Rendering of consolidated rental car center
Rendering of consolidated rental car center with people mover. Courtesy City of Los Angeles

A giant car rental complex at Los Angeles International Airport that will include a two-mile people mover to bring passengers to their terminals was one step closer to reality Thursday.

The Los Angeles City Council has approved a settlement agreement with El Segundo that avoids a possible lawsuit that could have delayed the major traffic improvement project at LAX.

For years individual car rental facilities have been scattered around city streets near LAX with no single location housing most rental firms. Returning a rental car can therefore be a bit confusing, unlike many other major airports that have consolidated car rental companies in one location.

The $5.5 billion project includes a Consolidated Rent-A-Car Center that aims to bring together more than 20 car rental offices and features a 2.25- mile automated people mover to eliminate the need for rental car courtesy vehicles to enter the central terminal area and reduce the number of autos driving in and out of the airport by an estimated 3,200 each day.

The plan — called the Landside Access Modernization Program — also includes roadway improvements to increase vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian access.

Coby King, a spokesman for El Segundo, said the El Segundo City Council had already approved the settlement.

El Segundo had filed an appeal of the project after it was approved by the Board of Airport Commissioners earlier this year, claiming that the project’s final environmental impact report failed to analyze the effect it would have on the city’s residents.

The settlement, which was approved Wednesday with a 12-0 vote by the Los Angeles City Council, states that El Segundo pledges not to bring legal action against Los Angeles or any other government body that could “delay, impede, alter or effect in any way the implementation of LAMP.”

Los Angeles also committed to do rehab and preventative work on certain portions of Imperial Highway near LAX for a total of $1.9 million, conduct a street parking study for a cost up to $50,000, and pay El Segundo $20,000 for consultant fees associated with the study.

“The city of El Segundo applauds the final approval of our settlement agreement with the city of Los Angeles and Los Angeles World Airports, which will bring long-sought improvements to a primary road serving El Segundo and will start to deal with other LAX impacts on our residents,” the city of El Segundo said in a statement.

“Through this agreement, L.A. has agreed to fix Imperial Highway, parts of which are well-known to El Segundo residents as being in terrible repair.”

The city added, “L.A. will also conduct a parking study in El Segundo, the first step to resolving an increasing problem of airport travelers and employees parking in El Segundo and using ride services such as Uber and Lyft to get in and out of the airport. While these drivers are avoiding airport parking fees, they are clogging El Segundo’s roads and neighborhoods with traffic. We’re pleased about this agreement and the professional negotiations on both sides.”


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