A Metro Expo line train passes dedication ceremonies for the Metro/LAX light rail transit line at Crenshaw and Exposition Boulevards in Los Angeles' Crenshaw district, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. When completed the line will connect the Metro Exposition and the Green lines. a distance of just over eight miles.
The county's Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday took another step forward on a plan to connect rail lines to Los Angeles International Airport.
The Metro board of directors agreed to launch draft environmental impact studies on four different options to connect the existing Green Line and the Crenshaw/LAX Line currently under construction to the airport. The process would begin this spring.
None of the proposals would directly connect light rail directly to the airport, instead relying on a people mover to get passengers from their final stop into the terminal. This is the same approach taken by other major airports, such as New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and San Francisco International Airport.
The Metro Board decided to set aside for separate study a proposal by L.A. County supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Don Knabe to bring a subway right into the airport, but that approach could face significant financial and political hurdles.
As Metro's The Source reports:
LAX officials have long said that bringing Metro trains underground and directly into the central terminal area — i.e. also known as the terminal horseshoe — is fraught with problems. The big ones: the cost, the complicated nature and security issues involved with tunneling under airport facilities and the need to get passengers from train stations to nine different terminals from just one or two light rail stations.