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LAX Terminal Construction and Landside Access Modernization Program

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LAX Terminal Construction and Landside Access Modernization Program

Old Dec 9, 2021, 11:54 am
  #106  
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Since there a question in the The 2021 LAX Parking Thread about the anticipated completion date of the APM, it is time to bump this thread with an update:

LAWA - Automated People Mover
The Automated People Mover (APM) is an electric train system on a 2.25-mile elevated guideway with six stations total – three inside the Central Terminal Area (CTA) and three outside the CTA.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) broke ground on the APM project in March of 2019 and anticipates that the system will be operational in 2023. Pre-construction activities—such as utility relocations, geotechnical investigations and surveying—began in 2018 and major construction activities are ongoing both inside and outside the CTA. The first APM cars will be delivered in 2021, and once major construction is complete, extensive testing will begin.

During peak hours (9 a.m. to 11 p.m.), the APM will run nine trains, each with four cars and will be capable of carrying up to 50 passengers and their luggage, with a total of 200 passengers per train. Train speed will top out at 47 mph. Trains will be available at each station every two minutes during peak hours with a total of 10 minutes travel time end-to-end (from the Consolidated Rent-A-Car Facility to the West CTA Station). For easy access, the APM trains will have large, wide doors with level boarding and each car will have 12 seats designated for travelers in need. The APM will be FREE for all users and operate 24/7. With an anticipated use of approximately 30 million passengers per year, it is estimated that the APM will result in 117,000 fewer vehicle miles traveled per day.

The APM trains, elevators, escalators and moving sidewalks provide for quick access to the terminals and stations. Passengers will be able to view real-time flight information, public art in a variety of media, and will see the iconic Theme Building from a brand new perspective as the train enters the CTA.

***
New People Mover train coming to LAX expected to revolutionize travel
The Automated People Mover (APM) train at Los Angeles International Airport is over 50%complete and on track to open in 2023. The train will connect travelers directly to airport terminals along with passenger pick-up and drop-off locations outside the central terminal area.

***
Airport officials think the train along with other aspects of the modernization project will have a great impact. The train will also connect with L.A. Metro's Light Rail System and LAX's new rental car facility which will be able to hold 18,000 cars.

***
When LAX's rental car facility opens in 2023, officials say this will eliminate rental car shuttles from the airport area which is more than 3,200 daily trips and over one million per year.

***
The entire train guideway is 2.75 miles in length and is about 75% complete. LAX officials said the People Mover train will make traveling here much easier and more efficient.

***
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Old Dec 12, 2021, 8:02 pm
  #107  
 
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Can someone help with a query (or provide a link to a site that explains the reasoning)?

I can see why people heading south on the 405 might prefer this system over the current one when picking up/dropping off passengers. But, what about people coming off the 105?

The current method is:
1) Exit Sepulveda and crawl through the tunnel.
2) Fight traffic around the Central Terminal Area (CTA) to the terminal.
3) Walk a few feet to the ticket counter or TSA check point.

This new methods seems to be:
1) Exit onto Imperial and head north on Aviation Blvd.
2) Fight local traffic to get to the pick up/drop off point at the Intermodal Transportation Facility (ITF).
3) Take stairs/elevator/escalator to the station.
4) Wait for the train.
5) Take the train to one of the three CTA stations.
6) Walk up to 600 feet to get to the terminal.
7) Take stairs/elevator/escalator to the ticket country or TSA check point.

Am I confused or missing something? Or, is LAWA just banking on the fact that new system with all the extra steps will be shorter in term than the old one?
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Old Dec 12, 2021, 8:11 pm
  #108  
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Originally Posted by writerguyfl
Can someone help with a query (or provide a link to a site that explains the reasoning)?

I can see why people heading south on the 405 might prefer this system over the current one when picking up/dropping off passengers. But, what about people coming off the 105?

The current method is:
1) Exit Sepulveda and crawl through the tunnel.
2) Fight traffic around the Central Terminal Area (CTA) to the terminal.
3) Walk a few feet to the ticket counter or TSA check point.

This new methods seems to be:
1) Exit onto Imperial and head north on Aviation Blvd.
2) Fight local traffic to get to the pick up/drop off point at the Intermodal Transportation Facility (ITF).
3) Take stairs/elevator/escalator to the station.
4) Wait for the train.
5) Take the train to one of the three CTA stations.
6) Walk up to 600 feet to get to the terminal.
7) Take stairs/elevator/escalator to the ticket country or TSA check point.

Am I confused or missing something? Or, is LAWA just banking on the fact that new system with all the extra steps will be shorter in term than the old one?
No, unfortunately, you're not missing anything - yet.

Where LAWA and probably MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority, e.g. Metro) are hoping/working toward is a more comprehensive urban metro/light rail/subway system so that instead of heading by car to the ITF or to the Central Terminal Area, one would get dropped at or make one's way to a Metro station and then (eventually) connect from there to ITF.

But that's a decade or more into the future. And, for most people, will take longer and be more painful than going directly to CTA.

So, yes, connecting into ITF is the best that LAWA can hope for. What they can and might do is try to stop inbound drop-offs and outbound pick ups but I suspect they're just a bit dependent on the parking fees that they receive in the CTA.

David
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Old Dec 12, 2021, 8:29 pm
  #109  
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Originally Posted by writerguyfl
Can someone help with a query (or provide a link to a site that explains the reasoning)?

I can see why people heading south on the 405 might prefer this system over the current one when picking up/dropping off passengers. But, what about people coming off the 105?

The current method is:
1) Exit Sepulveda and crawl through the tunnel.
2) Fight traffic around the Central Terminal Area (CTA) to the terminal.
3) Walk a few feet to the ticket counter or TSA check point.

This new methods seems to be:
1) Exit onto Imperial and head north on Aviation Blvd.
2) Fight local traffic to get to the pick up/drop off point at the Intermodal Transportation Facility (ITF).
3) Take stairs/elevator/escalator to the station.
4) Wait for the train.
5) Take the train to one of the three CTA stations.
6) Walk up to 600 feet to get to the terminal.
7) Take stairs/elevator/escalator to the ticket country or TSA check point.

Am I confused or missing something? Or, is LAWA just banking on the fact that new system with all the extra steps will be shorter in term than the old one?
At peak times the new method was already faster in 2019. It's not so different from getting off at Aviation for the old Lot B or new (and now gone) Lot E and taking a shuttle that goes up Aviation and then into the CTA via Century. The thing that was always frustrating about Lot C was that the streets were laid out to make it difficult to get there via low traffic Aviation instead of going through the tunnel. The LAMP puts the entrance to the new Economy lot on the other side via roads that should be faster when the construction is done, and once the APM opens will eliminate the time risk of the bus getting stuck in traffic on Vicksburg. So the minimum possible time to drive, park in economy, and get to the terminal will probably go up, but the median, mean, and max times should all go down, with the time to terminal more predictable.
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Old Dec 13, 2021, 1:04 pm
  #110  
 
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The La Cienega exit on I-405 South will be reconfigured to have a direct path to ITF East so south bound traffic to LAX can be routed that way.

North bound traffic to LAX from I-405 and I-105 seems to be following the route is not quite how [MENTION=167811]writerguyfl[/MENTION] described. It will still be funneled thru the tunnels and to ITF West. The road ways will eventually be reconfigured to offer a more direct routing to ITF West.

The video posted awhile ago shows the traffic flow. Basically:
  • I-405 South and La Cienega South: ITF East
  • Century Blvd (and I-405 via Century): ITF East
  • I-105 (and I-405 North via I-105), Sepulveda North: ITF West thru tunnel
  • Lincoln, Sepulveda South: ITF East or West thru local circulation
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Old Dec 13, 2021, 4:02 pm
  #111  
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Originally Posted by bzcat
The La Cienega exit on I-405 South will be reconfigured to have a direct path to ITF East so south bound traffic to LAX can be routed that way.

North bound traffic to LAX from I-405 and I-105 seems to be following the route is not quite how [MENTION=167811]writerguyfl[/MENTION] described. It will still be funneled thru the tunnels and to ITF West. The road ways will eventually be reconfigured to offer a more direct routing to ITF West.

The video posted awhile ago shows the traffic flow. Basically:
  • I-405 South and La Cienega South: ITF East
  • Century Blvd (and I-405 via Century): ITF East
  • I-105 (and I-405 North via I-105), Sepulveda North: ITF West thru tunnel
  • Lincoln, Sepulveda South: ITF East or West thru local circulation
Thanks! I thought I had seen (and even posted or linked) to the more direct routing coming out of the Sepulveda tunnel, but it was never very clear and I always had to squint hard and hope my imagination was correct, but I couldn't find it again to post here.
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Old Dec 13, 2021, 4:30 pm
  #112  
 
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I get that LAWA had massive obstacles to overcome. But, it seems like their solution only really benefits people coming south on the 405. (And, eventually, for the few that arrive via Metro.)

And even that solution isn't great unless you're flying out of the Tom Bradley International Terminal. That terminal is the only ones where the stations are right at the terminal. If this image from the LAWA website accurate, Terminal 1 won't even have direct access to a station. Nor will Terminals 0 and 9 once they get built.



Full image (which includes the entire system and road updates): https://www.lawa.org/-/media/lawa-web/connecting-lax/lamp_roadwaymap.ashx

Again, I totally get the obstacles and maybe all of their planners are smarter than I am. But all of these new facilities (including the CTA stations) all seem to be in the wrong places unless you're arriving south on the 405 to pick up/drop off passengers.

Anyway, thank you to those who provided the information and opinions.
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Old Dec 13, 2021, 4:37 pm
  #113  
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LAWA is, unfortunately, the epitome of incompetence and poor planning. They had the opportunity to move LAX into the 21st century by utilizing the people mover concept, basically stolen directly from MIA, to open up terminal access and alleviate some of the crowding and gate issues at the airport by essentially creating one consistent, congruent terminal complex, linked by the people mover.

The correct vision was to overlay a people mover and high speed moving walkway system on top of the existing terminals, from 1 through 8, and divide the stations to stop at T3, Bradley, T6 and T8 with high speed moving walkways in between. The stations themselves would be divided into two sides, one airside, and one outside security with the trains divided in half so you could check in at the intermodel/rental car complex, clear security there, and take a train directly airside at your terminal, while those with checked bags or other special handling needs would take the outside train option and check-in at the terminal.

The result would be a substantial decrease in inter-terminal traffic, and the ability of the airport to spread airlines among a wider group of terminal gates to eliminate situations where one terminal is short on gates vs an adjacent or nearby terminal with empty gates, where passengers can go one level up to quickly transfer to another part of the airport in minutes.

The project, as designed today, does very little to extend the airport's viable expansion options much beyond where they are today.
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Old Dec 13, 2021, 5:10 pm
  #114  
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Originally Posted by writerguyfl
I get that LAWA had massive obstacles to overcome. But, it seems like their solution only really benefits people coming south on the 405. (And, eventually, for the few that arrive via Metro.)

And even that solution isn't great unless you're flying out of the Tom Bradley International Terminal. That terminal is the only ones where the stations are right at the terminal. If this image from the LAWA website accurate, Terminal 1 won't even have direct access to a station. Nor will Terminals 0 and 9 once they get built.

[picture deleted]

Full image (which includes the entire system and road updates): https://www.lawa.org/-/media/lawa-web/connecting-lax/lamp_roadwaymap.ashx

Again, I totally get the obstacles and maybe all of their planners are smarter than I am. But all of these new facilities (including the CTA stations) all seem to be in the wrong places unless you're arriving south on the 405 to pick up/drop off passengers.

Anyway, thank you to those who provided the information and opinions.
The colored in stuff is just the new work. There's an existing skyway from T1 to CTA parking and the APM, like the other terminals.

Originally Posted by bocastephen
LAWA is, unfortunately, the epitome of incompetence and poor planning. They had the opportunity to move LAX into the 21st century by utilizing the people mover concept, basically stolen directly from MIA, to open up terminal access and alleviate some of the crowding and gate issues at the airport by essentially creating one consistent, congruent terminal complex, linked by the people mover.

The correct vision was to overlay a people mover and high speed moving walkway system on top of the existing terminals, from 1 through 8, and divide the stations to stop at T3, Bradley, T6 and T8 with high speed moving walkways in between. The stations themselves would be divided into two sides, one airside, and one outside security with the trains divided in half so you could check in at the intermodel/rental car complex, clear security there, and take a train directly airside at your terminal, while those with checked bags or other special handling needs would take the outside train option and check-in at the terminal.

The result would be a substantial decrease in inter-terminal traffic, and the ability of the airport to spread airlines among a wider group of terminal gates to eliminate situations where one terminal is short on gates vs an adjacent or nearby terminal with empty gates, where passengers can go one level up to quickly transfer to another part of the airport in minutes.

The project, as designed today, does very little to extend the airport's viable expansion options much beyond where they are today.
They were stuck with the difficulty factor of having to do all that while continuing to operate the busiest O/D airport in the world. If they could have predicted the pandemic, they might have been able to take better advantage of the low traffic year, but they didn't have access to the right crystal ball for that.
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Old Dec 13, 2021, 5:44 pm
  #115  
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Originally Posted by writerguyfl
And even that solution isn't great unless you're flying out of the Tom Bradley International Terminal. That terminal is the only ones where the stations are right at the terminal. If this image from the LAWA website accurate, Terminal 1 won't even have direct access to a station. Nor will Terminals 0 and 9 once they get built.
The image which you posted does not accurately depict the locations of the APM stations in the Central Terminal Area. There are three stations, East, Cental and West. None of them are directly attached to the terminals. All of them are connected to the terminals by pedestrian bridges with moving sidewalks. Some of the bridges are longer than others.

Below are more accurate depictions of the APM.





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Old Dec 13, 2021, 7:47 pm
  #116  
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Originally Posted by chrisl137
....
They were stuck with the difficulty factor of having to do all that while continuing to operate the busiest O/D airport in the world. If they could have predicted the pandemic, they might have been able to take better advantage of the low traffic year, but they didn't have access to the right crystal ball for that.
I don't see them as being stuck at all - this project should have been designed from the ground up to achieve what I posted above, and started many years prior to its actual initiation date. From the midfield terminal to this copycat solution from Miami, it's nothing but bandaids with taxpayers holding the bill for many years of additional upgrades to come. Building the overlays could have been accomplished without disrupting the current terminal and airfield operations as these would be structures fitted above the terminals - with a lesser impact to come later when the access routes down into the airside or landside areas could be accomplished with overnight work.
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Old Dec 13, 2021, 8:06 pm
  #117  
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Originally Posted by bocastephen
I don't see them as being stuck at all - this project should have been designed from the ground up to achieve what I posted above, and started many years prior to its actual initiation date. From the midfield terminal to this copycat solution from Miami, it's nothing but bandaids with taxpayers holding the bill for many years of additional upgrades to come. Building the overlays could have been accomplished without disrupting the current terminal and airfield operations as these would be structures fitted above the terminals - with a lesser impact to come later when the access routes down into the airside or landside areas could be accomplished with overnight work.
They still have to be attached to the ground, and the existing terminals aren't going to structurally support a concrete people mover trackway. So you could put columns straight down through the terminals (disrupting there), or try to span across the top and put columns on the airside apron (disrupting there) and then either through the existing roadways (in the land of the car) or up against the parking structures, but then you're getting into some long free spans that are going to have even more concrete laid across the top of them for the trackway. Or you can just be like DL and just close and rebuild the terminals one at a time and put the track on top when you do that. By the time you finish 9 and get the APM started it will be time to tear down 1 (or zero) again for the next upgrade.
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Old Dec 14, 2021, 8:13 am
  #118  
 
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I visit LA 3-4 times per year, for 3-4 days each time, staying near Beverly Hills for several years, staying at Hyatt Regency LAX (Concourse Hotel) for the past 5.5 years, most recently a few days ago at the new Hyatt House LAX/Century Blvd. I jog outside every day, this year during 4 trips since April I’ve jogged along/under the APM route including circling the CONRAC site. It’s been fun and interesting to see the construction progress. (I also like to jog back and forth in one of the parking lots where planes on final approach to RW 24R fly directly overhead at a low altitude but that’s a different discussion.)

I haven’t seen it mentioned previously in this thread but part of the motivation for these changes at LAX is preparation for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

“It is anticipated that the ConRAC facility will eliminate over 3,200 shuttle trips a day to/from the CTA and surrounding streets by consolidating individual rental car operations into one location.” Presumably each of the individual car rental (company) sites, some of which are massive, will close. Does anyone here know what the plan is for re-development of those sites?

A new parking garage (with 4,300 spots) opened in October with transportation to the terminals by bus until the APM is operational. Is part of the plan also to close the independent parking garages (Parking Spot, WallyPark, Airport Center Parking, Joe’s Parking, etc.) and/or eliminate their shuttles?

Hopefully part of this overall plan is to eliminate the homeless encampments along the west side of La Cienega between Century Blvd and Arbor Vitae.

Purdy’s Liquor Store is the most convenient place to buy a bottle of wine (or snack) when staying on Century Blvd. It’s in the same building as Budget Car Rental. I asked if they knew if and when they might be closing, the owner or manager told me they weren’t aware of anything. Any guesses as to their future?

Unrelated to this discussion, is a question as to the best burger near the airport. Carl’s Jr and In-N-Out don’t have locations on the East Coast. Carl’s Jr seems to have more interesting commercials, including one with an aviation theme (Wanna Join the Mile High Club), but which has better food? Thank you.
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Last edited by Dr Jabadski; Dec 14, 2021 at 8:25 am
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Old Dec 14, 2021, 12:31 pm
  #119  
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Originally Posted by Dr Jabadski
I... Is part of the plan also to close the independent parking garages (Parking Spot, WallyPark, Airport Center Parking, Joe’s Parking, etc.) and/or eliminate their shuttles?

....
LAWA does not have the legal authority to close independent parking garages, nor would LA County dare to try, they would be in court for years. If they require hotel shuttles to use the consolidated facility for passenger access, they could require off site parking companies to do the same, but if they allowed hotel shuttles direct terminal access, they could not restrict the parking lots without going to court. Any attempt to restrict these businesses would be hugely unpopular and end up in court for decades.
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Old Dec 14, 2021, 12:56 pm
  #120  
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Originally Posted by bocastephen
If they require hotel shuttles to use the consolidated facility for passenger access, they could require off site parking companies to do the same, but if they allowed hotel shuttles direct terminal access, they could not restrict the parking lots without going to court. Any attempt to restrict these businesses would be hugely unpopular and end up in court for decades.
The plan is to restrict access to the terminal loop to cars only. Parking and hotel shuttle buses will have to use the Intermodal Transportation Facilities, east or west, to pick up and drop off their customers.
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