To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at email@example.com
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Light rail should not be built under LAX terminal area, officials say
The recommendation by L.A. County transportation officials to
discard those alternatives would seriously alter the discussion on
connecting light rail to LAX.
A commuter takes the LAX Shuttle bus at the Metro Green Line's Aviation
Boulevard station. There is no direct Metro light rail connection to Los
Angeles International Airport.
Citing the high cost and risk of tunneling under Los Angeles International Airport,
county transportation officials said Wednesday that it did not make
sense to build a light-rail line directly under the airport's terminal
Their recommendation to
discard four possible LAX alternatives, although preliminary, could
permanently change a decades-long discussion on how to connect light
rail to the nation's third-busiest airport.
By the end of this decade,
two light-rail lines will come within three miles of the airport without
completing the trip. The South Bay's Green Line hugs the southern end
of the runways, but the only link to the terminal is a shuttle bus. When
the $2-billion Crenshaw Line debuts in 2019, it will pass 1.5 miles to
the east of the terminals.
Preliminary studies indicate that more people would ride a train to
LAX if it stopped inside the terminals, and that ridership would be
highest for the options with the fewest number of transfers.
The options that could be eliminated are costly and "encroach in a
way that the airport does not want us to encroach," Martha Welborne,
Metro's executive director for countywide planning, said Wednesday.
Welborne is recommending that three other alternatives receive
further study. All depend on the construction of a so-called "people
mover," which could resemble a circulator train like the one at San Francisco International Airport.
One approach would bring the people mover out nearly two miles to meet the Crenshaw Line at Aviation and Century boulevards.
Another option would move the Crenshaw Line to the west, where it
would link up near what is now Parking Lot C with the people mover and a
proposed shuttle bus and rental car hub.
Under the final option, the people mover would circle the terminals
and connect with a light-rail station near LAX's iconic lighted pillars.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who is on the Metro
board of directors, said officials should keep the number of
alternatives to a minimum so the study does not become too expensive or
"Some of us were here when the public turned on us in a big way,"
Yaroslavsky said. "We've gained back the trust of the public, but this
is the kind of thing that undermines it."
Still unclear is who will pay for the eventual connection, and how.
Metro has set aside about $330 million in sales tax revenue from Measure
R for the light-rail link, but cost estimates hover near $1 billion.
And at a recent Board of Airport Commissioners meeting, Gina Marie
Lindsey, Los Angeles World Airports executive director, said airlines
that use LAX were not interested in contributing to a people mover or a
transit hub because neither brings in revenue.