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To reach a resolution, the GCLA and Advocates for Fairness in Transportation (AFT) have joined together to work with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).
“We are talking with LAWA,” said Mark Stewart, an Orange County operator and former GCLA President who has been retained by both trade groups to help lead efforts to secure the best airport access for operators. “Policy decisions have not been made on limousines and TNCs.”
GCLA board director Chris Hundley, who runs Limousine Connection in North Hollywood, told GCLA members the groups are engaging in the “best open dialogue ever with LAX” and referred to the issue as a work in progress.
Construction of the APM in the airport’s central terminal area (CTA) will result in a temporary 38% loss in curbside access for all vehicles looping through the airport.
“We’re going to have 1.5 years of pain before we see any gain,” Hundley said. “So be prepared. We know it’s coming. That’s life.”
Stewart and Hundley fielded questions from operators following a presentation by Stephanie Sampson, public relations manager for LAMP. Sampson provided an overview of the entire upgrade project from start to finish.
The $5.5 billion LAMP is part of $14.3 billion in airport-related improvements over the next 10 years, Sampson said. “The focus of the LAMP project is to improve access to the terminals, reduce traffic congestion, give you time guarantee access to terminals, and improve the guest experience.”
The automated people mover would run on a 2.25 mile elevated guideway with three stations outside of the terminal loop and three inside the terminal loop. The stations outside the terminal loop include one at the Consolidated Rent-A-Car Facility (ConRAC), one which will connect to the Metro light rail system (airport Metro connector), and one at the Intermodal Transportation Facility – West (ITF-West), which is a 4,700 stall parking structure.
Three train stations will be built down the center of the airport terminal area and connect to terminals on either side via elevated walkways.
Construction is scheduled to start next month on the main columns for the elevated train guideway, and will reduce curbside access for ground transportation vehicles.
“As we go through construction and gear up for 2020, we will have lost 38% of our curbside boarding space,” Sampson told the GCLA. “At the end of 2020, that number will drop to 30% and we will start getting back our curb space. This construction will be going on and impacting how you pick up passengers and your customers, and it will all be going on at the same time.” CTA construction is scheduled to end in 2022.
LAMP evolved from the reality of increasing air passenger traffic and airport ground traffic congestion. LAX handled 87.5 million passengers in 2018, up from 84.6 million in 2017. Over the next few years, the airport projects a 1-2% increase in number. Much of those increases are driven by Los Angeles area tourism which now brings in 55 million annual visitors. LAX is ranked as the No. 1 airport in the U.S. for passenger origins – those beginning and ending their trips here.
“People are coming here and enjoying what we have to offer,” Sampson said.
On April 11, 2018, a 30-year, $4.9 billion contract with LINXS, the developer of the APM, was unanimously approved by the Los Angeles City Council, marking the largest contract ever awarded in the city’s history. Since then, LINXS has focused on finalizing the design of the guideway, operations systems, and stations along the 2.25 mile path — work that now allows for the start of major construction on the project, the press release stated. Through this public-private partnership contracting model, LINXS is designing, building, and financing the project and is also responsible for operating and maintaining the trains and stations for a 30-year period.
For more information on the LAMP project, visit FlyLAX.com/ConnectingLAX.
LCT related article: Leading Industry CEOs Advocate For Airport Access
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