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Los Angeles Breaks Ground On Automated People Mover, Centerpiece Of $5.5B LAX Renovation

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, along with city officials, broke ground on the Automated People Mover, a train that is hailed as the centerpiece of the multibillion-dollar renovation of the Los Angeles International Airport.

Rendering of the Automated People Mover System over Century Boulevard at LAX

The light-rail train will shuttle travelers and visitors directly to and from LAX airport terminals and other soon-to-be-built passenger pick-up and drop-off areas. 

“Everyone traveling to or from LAX should have access to modern, reliable public transportation that gets them to their destination on time,” Garcetti said during the groundbreaking March 14. “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.”

LAX is the fourth-busiest airport in the world, and second in the U.S. to Atlanta. Last year, more than 87.5 million travelers passed through LAX, according to the Airports Council International, a global trade representative of the world’s airports. 

LAX is also one of worst-ranked airports in the world due to a lack of amenities, public transportation, traffic congestion and other factors. In its best and worst airports ranking, travel website The Points Guy ranked LAX as 27th out of 30 airports examined.

With Los Angeles hosting the Olympics in 2028, officials and others hope the people mover will relieve the traffic backup and congestion that often happens in the current system of people picking up and dropping off passengers in front of the airport terminals. 

Through a public-private partnership, the city and LINXS have launched a $5.5B capital improvement project called the Landside Access Modernization Program, which, along with the people mover light-rail network, will include a new rental car facility called Consolidated Rent-A-Car or ConRAC, and other roadway improvements.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (center), along with other city officials at the groundbreaking ceremony for LAX's Automated People Mover

The people mover will arrive every two minutes, travel 2.25 miles at up to 47 miles per hour and run 24 hours a day. The trains will feature wide doors, large windows and plenty of handholds and seats for those in need, according to the news release.

The trains are expected to serve 30 million travelers annually, officials said. Once completed in 2023, the people mover will connect with LA Metro's Crenshaw/LAX line, also under construction. 

“Connecting Metro rail with the airport is going to be a game-changer,” council member Mike Bonin said in a news release. “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.”