The first three electric rail cars for Los Angeles International Airport’s Automated People Mover (APM) were delivered last week, marking a significant milestone for the $2-billion project that’s expected to be up and running by 2023.
The automated car will be able to transport passengers above the usual airport traffic, with the hope that “the hell that we knew LAX as is going to be a thing of the past,” says mayor Eric Garcetti. The APM will be free for all users and operate 24/7.
The train runs along an elevated 2.25-mile track, transporting passengers between six total stations, three inside the central terminal area and three outside. Stations include the central terminal area, which will have pedestrian walkways leading to terminals, the rental car facility, the parking facility, the Metro Green Line, and the Metro Crenshaw/LAX Line, which runs from the airport east to Crenshaw Boulevard and ends at the Expo Line.
The city purchased 44 aluminum-shelled cars that are 95% recyclable and generate power every time they brake, using the kinetic energy produced during decelerating. An estimated 200,000 people move through the airport daily, and the cars will be able to ferry 10,000 passengers an hour in and out of the airport. The 12-seat vehicles can go about 50 mph and will be available at each station every two minutes during peak hours, taking about 10 minutes to go from end to end of the system with stops at six stations.
Impacting the economy
The APM is a historic investment in Los Angeles’ economy. A combined $585 million has been identified for local, small or disabled veteran-owned businesses, with $85 million committed exclusively to local, small businesses in Los Angeles.
Once complete, the project will have created more than 2,000 construction jobs, with 30% set aside for local residents, especially those who live in highly impacted communities near LAX. When the system is up and running, 60% of Operations and Maintenance jobs will be designated for local workers. Additionally, LAX Integrated Express Solutions (LINXS), the selected APM developer—has built partnerships with community-based organizations to create job opportunities for workers from non-traditional backgrounds, creating infrastructure career pathways for women, former foster youth, individuals in reentry and transitioning out of gang involvement and persons with disabilities.
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