It’s not much consolation for anyone traveling over the next week, but LAX is moving on a massive overhaul of its ground transportation/arrival/departure situation that’ll bring the airport, if not into the Twenty-First Century, at least into the late Twentieth. Yesterday, the Board of Airport Commissioners voted to move ahead on the $ 4-billion Landside Access Modernization Program, which includes a new consolidated rental car center, new pick-off/drop-off/parking areas, and—most gamechangingly of all—an automated people mover to connect those spots with a stop on the forthcoming Crenshaw Line light rail and, of course, with LAX’s central terminal area. The idea is to keep anyone from ever being trapped in that terrible horseshoe road again.
Here’s what’s included in the LAMP:
CONRAC: Right now, rental cars pick-up is spread all over Westchester; under the new plan, they’ll all be in the one Consolidated Rent-A-Car Center in Manchester Square, roughly between Century/Aviation/Arbor Vitae/La Cienega. (Manchester Square has become a ghost neighborhood since the ’90s, when LAX officials started buying up land there for this project, which was put on hold for years.)
[Slide to see rental car locations now and in the future]
Intermodal Transportation Facilities: There will be two big ITF areas for pick-ups, drop-offs, parking, shuttle service, and even check-in, eating, and shopping—one by the CONRAC and one on the existing site of beloved Lot C at Ninety-Sixth/Sepulveda. We’ll miss you, Lot C, but your time has come. Sorry.
Metro rail: Metro recently decided to add a very fancy new stop to the alread-under-construction Crenshaw Line; it’ll sit at Ninety-Sixth Street, next to one of the ITFs, and have bathrooms, WiFi, a pedestrian plaza, retail (so many places to shop in this plan!), and visitor info.
LAX Train: The automated people mover will have six stops: at the CONRAC, the Crenshaw Line stop, and the Sepulveda ITF, and at three sites in LAX’s central terminal area, “connecting to the airline terminals with a convenient pedestrian walkway system,” according to a press release from the mayor’s office, which adds that it’s “Designed specifically for travelers with luggage.” The people mover combined with the CONRAC will take lots of those rental car shuttles off the roads; combined with the Crenshaw Line stop, it’ll hook LAX up to the Metro transit system.
The vote yesterday now kicks off the project’s environmental review process; actual construction won’t start until 2017 and won’t finish until, perhaps, 2024.
· Board Of Airport Commissioners Move Forward With $ 4 Billion Plan To Transform Arrival and Departure Experience With New LAX Train System [LA Mayor]
· Rail Connection to LAX Will Open By 2024 With Six Stops [Curbed LA]