Thursday, July 9, 2009

Green Line To LAX At Last? F'reals Now?

The most often-uttered complaint about our Metro Rail system - the lack of direct service to Los Angeles International Airport -may one day be addressed after all.

According to an email dispatch from Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jancie Hahn, the council's Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee on Wednesday approved various actions pertaining to LAX modernization, including getting Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the City department which administers LAX and three other regional airport facilities, for a plan to extend the (M) Green Line directly into the airport's central terminal area.

You heard that right? Central terminal area. Not any of this "LAX Lot C" bullshee, naw. Like right there in the terminals. Right there!

The email from her 15th district office quotes the councilwoman as saying, "Every other major city in the world has a public transit system that links travelers to the airport. This will make LAX more convenient for everyone – while also relieving congestion on our freeways."

Damn straight. Of course, the City Council has to vote on it, and LAWA has to agree to it, and of course these folks obviously have to get involved, but it's definitely a step in the right direction.

16 comments:

Neel said...

Will Angelenos be upset when they realize a Green Line connection to LAX will not reduce traffic congestion? I love this false hope the Council members always give residents when advocating transit. I never saw "reduced traffic" on the 710 (Blue Line), 101 in Hollywood (Red Line), 101 in the Valley (Orange Line), 105 (Green Line), or the 110 (Gold Line). I guess it's the only way the automobile drivers will support Metro projects..unfortunately.

Alejandros said...

Neel,
it's not about reducing traffic
(although mathematically speaking - if you subtract those drivers from the traffic and add them onto trains - then the number of cars will be less, albeit not noticeable)

but - it's about giving people Options ! How many of us are "enjoying" are cars simply because we have no other options, but to struggle behind the wheel, and having headaches from notorious parking problems.

How many of us would switch to another mode of commute if there would be one!

So - you're not required to quit driving (you're free to choose your method of commute), but it would be very convenient, to say the least, to offer people other options than to keep putting them back into their cars, only further creating enormous congestion.

Bob Zwolinski said...

No to be too boring… The Green Line was primarily built to serve the bourgeoning aerospace and defense industries in El Segundo, not to serve LAX. But just as construction commenced, communism fell and we became friends with the Russians which put tens of thousands out of work before the Green line was completed in 1995. With its initial dismal ridership, there was never enough political might or funds to get the Green Line spur to LAX.
We are the only world-class city, perhaps in the world, that does not have a rail line to the airport. Maybe we’ll finally catch up with Minneapolis, Portland, Atlanta and the rest.
One can only hope…
But it's finally beginning to look good!

Anonymous said...

EXCELLENT NEWS

Rich said...

Any idea if the Harbor Subdivision project (LAX Express) will ever be built? And will the Crenshaw Line interface with LAX? That would be amazing.

Joseph Eisenberg said...

According to Metro's most recent reports about the Crenshaw Corridor, it looks like a rail line connecting to the green line next to LAX is one of top choices being considered. Other options include "bus rapid transit (yuck) or a rail line down thru central Torrance to a green line station a couple miles east of the airport: http://www.metro.net/projects_studies/crenshaw/news_info.htm

I think a regional-rail model of service for the Harbor Subdivision would be a great way to provide reliable express service to LAX from downtown LA, as well as serve the south bay communities with a fast connection to the westside and downtown. And if the corridor is wide enough for a third or fourth track at stations, the line could eventual be upgraded to light rail with stops every 1/2 to 1 mile and frequent trains, with the MetroLink express service continuing with less frequent trains for longer-distance riders.

I hope that Metro will consider adding express service to the Blue Line someday as well. A 30 minute trip from downtown Long Beach to Los Angeles would make a big difference. If you could keep it that short, it would only take 1 or 2 trains and 1 or 2 drivers to run the service all day, and if you charged the same price for tickets as metrolink, it would almost pay for its operations.

This would be a good model for an eventual upgrade of the Harbor and El Monte transitway to rail service; add in additional twice as many stops serviced frequently, with less frequent express trains to get people from San Pedro or SGV directly to downtown.

James Fujita said...

I would love to see the Green Line finally get extended to LAX.

the only real problem with getting the Green Line to the terminals (instead of a people mover, which is what you see in that absolutely awesome architectural illustration) is that LAX is essentially designed as a dead-end. it would be very hard for a train that served the terminals to continue north beyond the airport to Westchester, Playa Del Rey, Marina Del Rey, Venice, etc.

it could be done, of course. you'd have to build tunnels underneath the runways, which I can't imagine LAWA would be very happy about. that's why current plans call for a people mover in the loop, not the Green Line.

some of my fellow transit fans will probably hate me for saying this, but personally I wouldn't mind seeing the Green Line terminate at Tom Bradley. anything at this point would be better than nothing...

Militant Angeleno said...

Neel: You're totally ignoring the fact that since Metro Rail started in 1990, the population has increased. Your logic implies that there's fixed number of cars on our roads.

Also, don't forget, it only takes one idiot in a car to start a freeway closure that backs up traffic for hours. Remember when Metro went on strike a couple of times earlier this decade? Traffic shot up. Would you prefer it that way?

You are also ignoring the fact that tourists may also benefit from a Green Line to LAX. Do you REALLY want to see a British tourist, not accustomed to driving on the right side of the road, crawl ahead of you, and possibly cause an accident?

The Militant rests his case.

Militant Angeleno said...

James Fujita: In other cities with airport access, the lines serving the airport terminate in a stub-end station. So that's really the rule and not the exception. Some airports rail lines end in physical loops.

Alan Fishel said...

Saying that the current rail lines do not relieve traffic on our overcrowded freeways is like saying that the freeways do not relieve traffic on our surface streets. If there were not the rail lines in place where would the over 90,000 Blue Line daily riders be? This would be same for the other rail lines. As new rail lines open they do relieve auto traffic and make the area they serve more accessible to many more people by train and by car.

I would think that the Green Line would “end” at the central terminal at the airport under the most recent plan. The new Crenshaw LRT Line would run along the Crenshaw corridor past the airport to Redondo Beach on what is now the Green Line and people on the Crenshaw Redondo Beach line who want to go to the Airport could transfer where the lines overlaps.

295bus said...

This would be awesome.

It'd be nice to get it bundled with an extension of the east end of the Green Line to Metrolink in Norwalk. That part could be on surface streets, and hopefully cheap. That would make the Green Line a viable way to get to LAX for lots more people coming from points east.

Btw, these guys have been pushing for this for years and have a nice writeup with interesting maps:

http://fogl.us

Hopefully this will all work out better than BART->SFO.

One thing to keep an eye on in the planning stages is whether the airport extension will work for people who *work* at the airport, and not just travelers.

Harry Bill75 said...

Good and great article. It was the greatest news I heard during that time. The transport facility between the rail and the airport has deteriorated the congestion in the traffic.
airport shuttle LAX

Garcinia cambogia said...

It only takes one idiot in a car to start a freeway closure that backs up traffic for hours. Remember when Metro went on strike a couple of times earlier this decade? Traffic shot up. Would you prefer it that way?

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