L.A. Metro breaks ground on airport connector project

June 22, 2021
The $898.6-million project will add a ninth station on the Crenshaw/LAX Line with a direct connection to the Los Angeles World Airports Automated People Mover project.

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (L.A. Metro) began construction June 21 on a station it envisions as being a “Multi-Modal Transit Gateway” to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

The $898.6-million project will provide a direct connection to the under-construction Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Automated People Mover project through a ninth station on the Crenshaw/LAX line. L.A. Metro says the goal of the Airport Metro Connector Transit Station (AMC) is to provide a reliable, fast and convenient connection for passengers traveling between LAX and the regional bus and rail transit system.

“Everyone traveling to or from LAX should have access to modern, reliable public transportation that gets them to their destination on time,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti. “The Airport Metro Connector is a historic step toward reimagining how travelers experience our airport — a turning point that will be a source of jobs and economic growth, reduce congestion and help our airport realize its potential as a world-class gateway to Los Angeles.”

The new AMC station will be located at Aviation and 96th Street and will include:

• Platforms to access L.A. Metro light-rail trains;

• 16-bay bus plaza to serve L.A. Metro and other municipal bus operators including Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, Culver City Bus, Torrance Transit, GTrans (Gardena) and Beach Cities Transit;

• A bike hub, a private vehicle drop-off zone and easy access to the LAX people mover;

• A new L.A. Metro customer service center; and

• Interactive information kiosks, public restrooms and commercial space for tenants who will provide passenger conveniences.

The rail station portion of the project will contain two light-rail platforms that L.A. Metro says will be easily accessed via escalators and elevators, new ADA compliant swing door faregates to allow for smooth passage with luggage and a full roof covering the entire platform.

The project has been designed to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating with sustainable features that include 550,000-plus kilowatts of solar panels, large native landscaping areas and electric bus charging stations.

“This is an exciting project that will serve as the ‘Gateway’ to LAX for future generations — just as LAX has long served as the gateway to Southern California for so many millions of people,” said L.A. Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “The AMC station will also provide multiple connections to the Metro system and will help airport-area employees and travelers easily get to wherever they need to go in our region.”

The LAWA Automated People Mover project is scheduled to be in operation in 2023 and the AMC project is forecast to be completed in 2024.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.