Los Angeles may be on the verge of fixing one of its worst transportation mistakes: the failure, two decades ago, to build a rail line to
On Thursday, the
If the Metro board approves the plan, it will stop studying more expensive proposals to bring the subway closer to the airport. Skeptics may wonder why they should celebrate Metro's recommendation to build a station two miles from the airport instead of inside the airport itself, and how this would be an improvement on the Green Line's existing Aviation/LAX station, which also stops about two miles from the terminals. In reality, the distance between the rail station and the airport is less important than the ease of the connection between the two. The existing LAX connection is extraordinarily inconvenient and underused. Travelers have to walk down from the train platform, wait at the curb, then haul their luggage into an often overcrowded bus.
Compare that with the estimated $1.7-billion project being considered by Metro and Los Angeles World Airports. Travelers would arrive at the new 96th Street and Aviation Boulevard station and connect to the people-mover, which would whisk them between the terminals, a transportation hub and rental car facilities. The agencies estimate it would take about four minutes to walk from the rail station to the people-mover and five minutes to walk from the people-mover to the terminals. That's significantly less schlepping than is currently required at LAX.