WESTCHESTER (CBSLA.com) — The Metro board Thursday approved plans to build a light-rail station near Los Angeles International Airport, a move many believe is long overdue for a city whose mass transit leaves much to be desired.
“For 40 years, this has been a symbol of our failure. Every world-class city needs world-class transportation,” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “Right now, if you go to LAX, it is choked. We counted 200,000 cars coming in a day. This would help alleviate that.”
Currently, the Metro Green Line bus stops at the 105 Freeway and Aviation Boulevard, forcing travelers to have to hop off with their luggage and catch a shuttle bus about a mile to the airport.
The $200 million train station will be built at 96th and Aviation Boulevard, about a half-mile from the airport. From there, LAX hopes to have a people-mover, an elevated monorail that would transport travelers in a loop to all the terminals.
CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Serene Branson spoke to Brandon Betzler of Arcadia as he was trying to catch a flight from LAX to Chicago. It was his first time taking the Green Line.
“It seems silly to stop right there,” Betzler said of the current Green Line stop. “It was a little bit inconvenient, a little confusing. It would make more sense to go the extra mile and take people all the way [to the airport].”
Longtime Westchester resident Kosta Agnew says LAX has been buying property owners out since the ’90s as it acquired the land needed to build the station. He says it’s left the area looking like a ghost town, and he can’t wait for the new additions.
“We can’t wait for them to come clean up and make the airport part of our beautiful Los Angeles,” Agnew said.
LAX World Airports is expected to finalize plans for the people-mover in December and service could begin operating in 2022.