LAX Breaks Ground On The Airport’s Future: A People Mover

by Chris Dong

I hopped off the plane at LAX with a dream and my cardigan

…and a bunch of gridlocked traffic of Ubers, buses, and cars at arrivals.

Pop song lyrics aside, Los Angeles has a serious traffic problem and its main airport (the fourth busiest in the world), is no exception.

Thankfully, the city approved a $4.9 billion dollar project last April to construct an elevated train system that would connect the terminals, a centrally located rental car center, a ground transportation hub, and public transportation. Yes. Public transit. In LA.

That people mover broke ground this past week.

Connecting LAX To The City

The APM (Automated People Mover) is expected to connect with the Metro Green and Crenshaw/LAX light rail lines. The city promises that you can go from the Metro to your terminal in 10 minutes or less. It will also have a stop at a consolidated rent-a-car center that aims to bring together more than 20 car rental offices in one location. No more shuttle buses.

Here’s a short, slick video that details all of the APM’s features:

Electric-powered trains are expected to operate every two minutes. If only JFK’s AirTrain can run 1/8th as frequent as that to connect to New York’s own metro system…

The project isn’t expected to be completed until 2023. With a few years of delays, it’ll be finished just in time for the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028.

LAX People Mover

The Upshot

In all seriousness, I’m very much looking forward to the completion of this Automated People Mover. It’s a game changer for the city of Los Angeles, and it’s been a long-time coming. This is great news for LAX and the city (and all cities everywhere, really) as it looks to decrease its auto dependence.

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4 comments

Bob March 20, 2019 - 9:53 am

Thankfully this is being built by a third-party and not the city of Los Angeles or LAWA…otherwise I would fully expect the delays you joke about. I’d love to see a day where all shuttle buses (hotels and parking) and all taxis/TNCs have to pick up at the transportation facilities, that would really free up the central terminal area.

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pho tastee March 20, 2019 - 11:16 am

but why 5 years?

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David A Marquette March 20, 2019 - 1:01 pm

looks like the MIA model — connects terminal (LAX of course multiple stops) to car rental – and in Miami’s case both tri-rail, bus and metrorail (and was supposed to be Amtrak)

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nsx at FlyerTalk March 20, 2019 - 1:15 pm

Public transit to LAX is viable already. Take the bus to Sepulveda and Century, not to the LAX bus center! Walk in to the airport. It’s only 4 minutes to Terminal 1. Crucially, walking time is predictable rather than highly variable.

I see airline employees and airport employees walking this route all the time. Some use a skateboard or folding scooter to speed it up.

Using your feet is free, and it’s faster And $5 billion cheaper than the people mover.

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