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Airport officials break ground on people mover project

LOS ANGELES — A groundbreaking ceremony was held March 14 for the 2.25-mile Automated People Mover at Los Angeles International Airport, which aims to cut down on auto traffic traveling in and out of the airport.

The project has a targeted opening date of 2023.

“Everyone traveling to or from LAX should have access to modern, reliable public transportation that gets them to their destination on time,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “The automated people mover is a historic investment in our city’s transportation infrastructure — a milestone that will create middle-class jobs, reduce traffic congestion, and deliver a world-class experience for travelers.”

Last year, the City Council approved a $4.9 billion contract with LAX Integrated Express Solutions for the design and construction of the people mover system that will carry passengers among terminals and connect them with nearby rail lines.

According to Los Angeles World Airports, the people mover will feature trains traveling among six stations — three inside the airport terminal loop and three outside the airport.

“As we put shovels in the ground for the automated people mover project, we now have within sight, the monumental transformation of LAX that will take shape over the next four years,” said Deborah Flint, CEO of Los Angeles World Airports. “Today, we celebrate this important milestone in the construction of our elevated train system, share our gratitude to our myriad partners who are making this project possible and commit to delivering an exceptional project that will provide great benefit to our guests, the local community and the over 55,000 employees working at LAX.”

 “The Board of Airport Commissioners is committed to creating a world-class airport for Los Angeles, delivered in an innovative, efficient and fiscally-responsible manner,” said Sean Burton, president of the commission. “Our automated people mover will be the centerpiece of our LAX modernization, and I am excited to help celebrate the start of major construction on this project.”

The system is expected to connect with the Green and Crenshaw/LAX light rail lines, and also with a planned Consolidated Rent-A-Car Center. That facility will 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, officials said.

Connecting the rail lines with the airport is going to be a game-changer — for travelers, and for the people I represent who live near LAX,” Councilman Mike Bonin said. “This project will take cars off of the road and improve the passenger experience by giving people a convenient, fast, and viable alternative to driving. This is great for the traveling public, great for airport neighbors, and it’s the next big step in moving Los Angeles and our airport forward.”

Electric-powered trains are expected to operate every two minutes, with each train carrying up to 200 people. Airport officials anticipate the system will be used by 85.1 million passengers per year.

“Today Los Angeles celebrates a monumental stride forward for travelers, Angelenos, and LAX,” Councilman Joe Buscaino said. “The [people mover] will transform transportation to and from our airport improving the experience for the 50 million visitors to and from Los Angeles every year. Continued investment in our airport will result in continued returns for our residents, local businesses and more.”

From Staff and Wire Reports