Massive new transport project launched in Los Angeles

Combination of an “automatic people mover” and new metro service will put city and coast more than ever in reach of travellers

Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board arrives at ITB Asia with some major travel trump-cards up its sleeve.

With the US$1.766bn Crenshaw/ LAX transit project due for completion in 2020, travellers arriving at LAX will have access to the Metro Green Line, linking them to downtown LA or Santa Monica. The metro line will link to a new “APM”, or automatic people mover system, connecting passengers to an Intermodal Transportation Facility (ITF) via a Consolidated Rent-A-Car Center (CONRAC), on to the Central Terminal Area of the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The APM will be approximately three kilometres long and will include six stations – three in the Central Terminal Area and three outside of the airport at other LAWA facilities such as the CONRAC and ITF.

The Automated People Mover (APM) is an electric train system on a 3.6km elevated guideway with six stations total – three inside the Central Terminal Area (CTA) and three outside.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) broke ground on the APM project in March of 2019 and anticipates that the system will be operational in 2023. The
ongoing US$14bn transformation to reimagine the LAX airport experience across all terminals also sees a new Midfield Satellite Concourse being opened in 2020, adding 12 new aircraft gates.

Los Angeles reached an historic milestone in 2018, welcoming 50 million visitors for the first time ever and accomplishing the destination’s ambitious tourism goal two years early. The new record is 1.5 million visitors higher than 2017’s total – a 3.1% increase – marking the eighth-consecutive year of tourism growth for Los Angeles. In surpassing 50 million total visitors, Los Angeles set new tourism records for domestic and international visitation, hosting an estimated 42.5 million domestic visitors (3% increase) and 7.5 million international visitors (3.6% increase).

Chinese visitors – many of whom stay in the LAX area – continue to drive international growth. Los Angeles is their No. 1 US destination with 1.2 million visitors who spend US$1.6 bn – by far the top international spenders. While LA Tourism has four full-time offices in China (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu), it is also investing in emerging international markets in Scandinavia, India and South Korea.

Ernest Wooden Jr., President and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, stated that hotels in the LAX corridor continue to outperform entire LA County market, with over 85% occupancy in the first part of 2019. LA Tourism positions the Gateway offerings as a “fun layover” or a home base before other travels with LA’s highest concentration of affordable hotels, including every major hotel brand.

The transformation of downtown LA has recently brought accolades from National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of the 28 friendliest neighbourhoods in the United States. Established as a leisure destination 11 years ago when L.A. LIVE turned on the lights at its expansive entertainment complex, the home of STAPLES Center is now visited by more than 20 million people a year. In the past 6 years alone, 14 hotels have opened or broken ground in DTLA, including InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, NoMad Los Angeles and forthcoming Hoxton Hotel.

And there’s more to come. The Academy Museum, opening later this year in mid-city, will be dedicated to the art and science of movie-making and will boast state- of-the-art galleries, exhibition spaces, movie theatres, and special event spaces.

We are also just months away from the opening of Los Angeles Stadium, the new, 70,000 seat state-of-the-art stadium that will be the epicentre of the sports world and will host the 2022 Super Bowl, 2023 College Football Championship, 2026 World Cup bid, 2028 Olympic and Summer Olympic Games.


Photo: Downtown, Los Angeles