The long-awaited LAX 'people-mover' shuttle train will arrive 2023

By David Flynn, April 17 2018

Start counting down, but don't hold your breath: LAX is getting an 'automated people-mover' which will not only whisk travellers between terminals but to parking stations and even connect to the Los Angeles metro, if that's your thing.

Costed at US$4.9 billion, the long-awaited transit project is expected to be operating by early 2023.

The driverless carriages will run on rubber wheels set into a guideway channel, rather than light rail train tracks – similar to Singapore's Changi Airport Skytrain.

They'll scoot along an elevated track snaking down the middle of the Los Angeles airport precinct.

This track will run down the middle of the 'horseshoe' formed by the U-shaped arrangement of LAX terminals, with covered walkways connecting the stations to the terminals.

There'll be three stops at the airport proper: one serving TBIT, T3 and T4; a second for T2, T5/T6; and another for T1 and T7/T8.

Next along the route will be a station at the Intermodel Transport Facility (ITF) West; another across Aviation Boulevard at ITF East which will also connect to a new station on the Metro light rail system; and a final stop at a Consolidated Rent-a-Car Centre.

(Sorry, there's no stop at In-N-Out).

The ITF stops will serve as ground transportation hubs where travellers can be picked up by a friend or a ride-share driver, or hop onto a bus to nearby hotels, parking lots or downtown LA.

The trains are promised to run every two minutes, 24 hours a day.

LAX operating authority Los Angeles World Airports sees the shuttle as a vital piece of infrastructure in the lead-up to the city hosting the 2028 Olympic Games by "removing the frustration of the tangled traffic inside the horseshoe."

David
David

David Flynn

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

tommygun

tommygun

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 79

I love that last promo image in David's story - almost nobody on the train. At LAX? Really, who are they trying to kid?

sgb

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 743

Will the entire system ground to a halt if it gets a puncture?

Grannular

Grannular

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 287

Fair question. Car tires seem like an odd choice. Especially when spending $5b

Himeno

Himeno

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 913

It sounds like the LAX shuttle will be similar to the Yurikamome line in Tokyo.

pungpui

pungpui

22 May 2011

Total posts 44

Almost $5 billion and not even a stop at in-n-out??? ;)

reno

reno

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Sep 2013

Total posts 469

Will they follow the Australian airport operators line an charge an outrageous fee to move people from terminals.maybe us$20 to go 100 yds from terminal 4 to 5 at lax.give me a break.

mviy

mviy

05 May 2016

Total posts 522

Will this be airside or will you have to go through security after changing terminals using this?

David

David

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2322

It's in the public or 'landside' zone – if you look at the photos you'll get the idea.

sgb

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 743

Being 'landside' can you imagine the types hanging out in this contraption, let alone the sorts you come across inside the terminal itself. They might have to make it payable to ride.

tommygun

tommygun

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 79

Or put in a guard with an AR-15.

grov

grov

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 149

If it connects to their Metro, wondering why the Metro wasn't extended into the airport, like JFK.

Livewireshock

Livewireshock

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

17 Mar 2016

Total posts 38

The New York subway or Long Island RR do not go to JFK (or Newark), they are connected by an Airtrain shuttle service at both airports, which is almost exactly like this proposal and you get charged extra for using it. Even La Guardia is getting there own version soon.

Himeno

Himeno

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 913

The JFK airtrain is free within the airport, but to enter/exit the airtrain at Jamaica station or Howard Beach, to connect to LLRR and NY Subway, is $5 (+subway/LLRR fare).

JKH

JKH

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Sep 2017

Total posts 127

You’ll pay your fare, two or three taxes, tips and a resort fee.

aggie57

aggie57

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 148

LA County is making a huge investment in public transport. Check out http://theplan.metro.net/. This LAX shuttle is only one small part of the overall program.

In many ways this is rebuilding the once very extensive Pacific Electric "Red Cars" network that once stretched across LA and Orange Counties, dismantled after WWII as the freeway network was built. It's a very interesting read if you have the time (maybe while waiting for your late Brisbane flight to depart :)).

aggie57

aggie57

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 148

It’s one small part of the LA County’s massive investment in public transit. Perhaps they regret now breaking up the old Red Car network after world war 2.

Davedownunder

Davedownunder

19 Aug 2011

Total posts 49

For me the biggest issue at LAX (apart from the horrendous immigration /customs) was getting from say T8 to T3 in a hurry to connect. Spending 5 billion seems to be not addressing that issue. Having a circular loop track would solve the problem rather than running down the middle and still having to walk a long distance from the station to the terminal. Always was quicker to walk/run than catch the revolving bus that never comes.

Better to fly QF SYD to Dallas and cut out LAX all together!

ausJCP

ausJCP

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2014

Total posts 212

Totally agree with Davedownunder, it's a shame they didn't seize the opportunity to incorporate an inter-terminal shuttle service that follows World Way. That would have been a more robust utilisation of the $5b price tag.

Americans aren't exactly known for demonstrating long-term infrastructure vision, or seeking maximum utility from publicly-funded projects. Oh well. It's not like LAX could get any worse...

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