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Light-Rail One Step Closer at LAX

A people mover system could connect with Metro's Green Line and Crenshaw Line.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority board -- which includes Mayor Eric Garcetti and members of the county Board of Supervisor -- signed off Thursday on four project alternatives that would use a people mover to transport air travelers between Metro light-rail lines and Los Angeles International Airport.

The board action paves the way for Metro officials to start environmental reviews for the Airport Metro Connector project in the coming months, taking the transportation agency a step closer toward completing a long-awaited connection between LAX and Metro's public transportation system.

The city's airport agency, Los Angeles World Airports, would be responsible for building a people mover system that meets with Metro's Green Line and the under-construction Crenshaw Line, both of which run past or near, but not directly into LAX.

The board also voted to eliminate a bus rapid transit and three light-rail options that would have brought Metro public transit lines directly into airport terminals.

Metro and city airport officials said the light-rail options, which involve tunneling under LAX terminals and runways, would be too costly and risky to build.

Metro Board member Mark Ridley-Thomas initially wanted to add two of the more popular direct connection light-rail options back into the environmental review process, but ultimately backed down.

He and the rest of the Metro board instead asked that staff report back with updated information about the two options, while not holding up the project's environmental impact review process.

- City News Service

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