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

By David Flynn, April 17 2018
The long-awaited LAX 'people-mover' shuttle train will arrive 2023

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 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.

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 98

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 745

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

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 339

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

sgb
sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

I think a monorail or the traditional steel wheels on steel track would have been better. Maintenance and replacement of the rubber tires will be a worry and simply wont last.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1390

Rubber tyres have better traction, generally better acceleration (important when stops are so close together) and better in the wet

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 995

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

22 May 2011

Total posts 69

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

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.

05 May 2016

Total posts 587

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

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2425

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 745

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.

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 98

Or put in a guard with an AR-15.

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 164

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

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

17 Mar 2016

Total posts 42

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.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 995

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 147

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

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 175

LA County is making a huge investment in public transport. Check out https://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 :)).

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 175

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.

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!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2014

Total posts 215

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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