Los Angeles County Transportation Authority (L.A. Metro) and Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies LLC (ARTT) took steps this week that could see Dodger fans taking a gondola from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to Dodger Stadium by 2022.
ARTT submitted an Unsolicited Proposal for the project in late April. L.A. Metro accepted the proposal and requested more information, which led to the signing of a Letter of Intent between the two parties in early December. The Letter of Intent is a formal step that moves the project out of the Unsolicited Proposals evaluation phase and into project development. L.A. Metro and ARTT will begin negotiations on roles and responsibilities for planning and constructing the gondola.
“This is a critical milestone in developing an innovative and exciting way for Dodgers fans to get to the game while reducing traffic,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “For the sixth year in a row, the Dodgers have led Major League Baseball in attendance and we want to keep that streak going by finding ways to make it more convenient to reach the stadium.”
The Dodgers have averaged slightly more than 46,800 attendees per game in 2018. To help ferry fans, L.A. Metro began running the free Dodger Stadium Express bus service from Union Station in 2010 with a second route added in 2015 between Harbor Gateway Transit Center in the South Bay and the ballpark.
The concept of a gondola to improve access to Dodger Stadium was evaluated as part of a study in 1990. It was not pursued until nearly 30 years later, when ARTT submitted its Unsolicited Proposal.
“This proposal is precisely the kind of out-of-the-box thinking we envisioned when we set up our Unsolicited Proposals process,” said Metro Chief Innovation Officer Joshua Schank. “By allowing potential partners to come to us with ideas and solutions, Metro has positioned itself to tap into the creativeness and ingenuity of private sector innovation.”
ARTT said the privately-funded, zero-emission project would have the capacity to move thousands of people every hour.
"We look forward to working with Metro staff to get the aerial off the ground and fans flying to the stadium in 2022,” said ARTT Project Manager Martha Welborne.