The L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it could take anywhere from seven to 14 years before a light rail connection is built between LAX, the existing Green Line and the proposed Crenshaw Line.
That was the information provided Tuesday night at a public meeting held by Metro officials at the Veterans Memorial Complex in Culver City. The gathering was the last in a series of three meetings held by Metro designed to gauge initial impressions from the public about which of its proposals are favored at this early stage.
One solution would extend the Green Line, which runs along the 105 Freeway, but goes south at Aviation Boulevard toward Redondo Beach, directly into LAX. The other option would involve running a new Green Line/Crenshaw Line station next to LAX. Riders would then transfer to a driverless vehicle called an Automated People Mover or to a rapid bus system to take them directly into LAX.
At this point, "there’s no consensus about anything," said Metro's director for the project, Roderick Diaz. "We still have a lot of work and study to do."
The 50-plus people at Tuesday’s open-house style event were shown a series of full-color charts, along with maps and drawings of the project. Metro representatives were on hand to answer questions and to take public comments.
Diaz anticipates holding additional rounds of meetings, including another this autumn, when Metro would present more detailed alternatives based on the public input to date.
He said the three community meetings held over the past week have drawn about 250 people in total, which he considered "a fairly respectable number" for such gatherings.
The long-range transportation plan has money available for use between 2018 and 2025, Diaz said. Measure R, a voter-approved half-cent county sales tax, would provide $200 million, but additional revenue may be needed from other sources, he said.
A number of residents at Tuesday’s gathering said they hope light rail will run directly into LAX, eliminating the need for travelers to transfer before they get to LAX terminals.
"Buses need constant mechanical care," said Craig Thompson, from the MacArthur Park area. "They spend more time in the shop than they do on the street." He said light rail could use either the upper or lower roadway deck at LAX, reducing car traffic, which could then be confined to the other deck.
Dr. Kenneth Alpern, president of the advocacy group the Transit Coalition, wants the Green Line extended to the proposed Aviation/Century station near Parking Lot C (see attached fact sheet). He said he believes up to 70 percent of the riders would be LAX employees.
In either case, Marina del Rey resident Carol Kirschenbaum was unhappy that current options don’t address Lincoln Boulevard, which she said is frequently clogged from LAX to Santa Monica.
"There’s nothing for us who live due north of LAX," she said.
"People have different exposures to different types of rail and transit systems at airports around the world," Diaz said. "We’re at the very beginning stages of our planning process."