Los Angeles LAX Airport: People Mover Construction Begins Soon As US$ 14 Bln Improvement Project Is Underway

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Los Angeles LAX International Airport has unveiled the plans for the new people mover that will start being constructed this year as part of a massive 14 Billion USD improvement project.

This people mover is part of the the first phase which will be an infrastructure program to finally improve transfer experience between the terminals as well as a consolidated rental car facility and proper connection to public transport.

The situation at LAX has been mayhem for several years now as Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) began to overhaul the facilities at the crumbling airport that has seen a magic transformation in many areas, especially Tom Bradley International Terminal and United Airlines Terminal 6/7.

Renovating existing airports while in full operation is a huge challenge as can be seen by many examples such as London-Heathrow, Paris, and Frankfurt all of which never seem to end running construction, By now several of the U.S. airport are more than overdue for a massive refurbishment before they start falling apart as does much of the ailing infrastructure that has been neglected for decades.

LAWA published a new video of how they expect the people mover to be in operation (see here):

LAWA also updated their website with the detailed plan for the people mover and other infrastructure links (access here).

The Automated People Mover (APM) is an electric train system on a 2.25 mile elevated guideway with six stations total – three outside the terminal loop and three inside.

LAX anticipates groundbreaking in 2018 and the APM to be fully operational in 2023. Pre-construction activities—such as utility relocations, geotechnical investigations and surveying—will begin in the second quarter of 2018. Construction of the guideway—the elevated track along which the APM will run—will start in Summer-Fall 2019. Late 2019 will see construction begin on the six stations. The first APM car will be delivered in late 2020. Major construction will be complete in mid-2022, at which point extensive testing will begin for several months. The APM will be open for passenger services in early 2023.

The APM will have nine trains, each with four cars. Each car will carry up to 50 passengers and their luggage, with a total of 200 per train. Train speed will top out at 47 mph. Trains will be available at each station every two minutes with a total of 10 minutes travel time end-to-end. For easy access, the APM trains will have large, wide doors and each car will have 12 seats designated for travelers in need. The APM will be FREE for all users and operate at all times. Anticipated use will be 30 million passengers per year. …

The project was first announced back in May of 2016 (see my previous article from two years ago) and since that a lot has been done.

Conclusion

When I took United last October I was positively surprised about how nice their new terminal came out and the TBIT is also excellent. It took them over a decade to reach this point and probably another one to finish up the entire project.

Current plan is to also attach the people mover to the Metro station even though the service is sort of limited at this point (I took the Metro once or twice to try but it’s simply impractical for most destinations).

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