Thu, Jun

Readers Digest Version: Idiots Guide for Getting Rail to LAX


GETTING THERE FROM HERE-In popular response to a previous CityWatch article on the subject, I am posting a  "Reader's Digest" version. 

In my strong opinion, despite the late entry of the LAX Connect Plan alternative (which, behind the scenes, was worked on feverishly by LA World Airports and City officials for years), this plan--promoted by Mike Bonin, Eric Garcetti, LAWA and others is clearly the one that has been the answer to decades of miscalculations and misinformation in getting Metro Rail to LAX. 


This is an option moving forward for the Metro Staff and Board to consider:


It's the right compromise between those wanting to go to/from LAX, and those wanting to go north or south without being diverted too much from their commutes by LAX.  It also addresses the immediate connectivity issues to LAX while we LATER can figure out how to create a Consolidated Rental Car Facility, and fix other land use issues that are as of now unresolved, at Century/Aviation. 

Another advanced option is to have everything focused on the unyet-configured Century/Aviation intersection near the future station of the Crenshaw/LAX Line, which isn't as convenient for Westsiders, but has an ITF (Intermodal Transportation Facility) to the west.   

In my opinion, the too-far-to-the-east location, and the many uncertain and unresolved issues at Century/Aviation, make this option inferior to the LAX Connect Plan option:


Yet another advanced option is to have more than one route and line accessing LAX--it looks expensive and operationally challenging, but we can all conclude that Metro and LAWA (to their mutual credit) are being thorough, and aren't leaving any ideas unexplored:


The expensive underground routes to LAX, which I previously supported, cost up to $2-3 billion more, can't carry as many passengers as the People Mover options, arguably post a devastating target for terrorists, and have their own operational problems.   

These subway alternatives to LAX are NOT being advanced by Metro and LAWA, but I was once enamored of them (as were many others), and I'm very glad they were explored.   

Credit goes to Metro for coming up with these ideas, which appear exciting (a sort of "Heathrow option", for those who've been to that airport) but are being abandoned for operational, engineering and fiscal reasons.



So hopefully, we all know why things stand where they do with respect to planning this all, and it's hoped that Washington, Sacramento, Metro and LAWA can get bipartisan and mutual support to plan, approve and fund this overdue publics-work project that can improve our economy and mobility, to say nothing of our environment and quality of life.   

Below is the LAX Connect Plan that I strongly favor, and I support Mayor Garcetti, Councilmember Bonin and all the planners and engineers fighting for this alternative to be the long-sought answer to connectivity of LAX to the greater region:




(Ken Alpern is a Westside Village Zone Director and Boardmember of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee.  He is co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chairs the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at [email protected] This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us .  The views expressed in this article are solely those of Mr. Alpern.)







Vol 12 Issue 10

Pub: Feb 4, 2014








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