The Automated People Mover (APM) project at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is an electric train system that runs on a 2.25-mile elevated guideway with six stations, three of which are located inside the Central Terminal Area (CTA) and three outside. LAX broke ground on the APM in March 2019, and the project is scheduled to open for passenger service in 2023. Once operational, the APM is expected to be transformative for people going to and from the airport.
During the airport’s peak hours of 9 am – 11 pm, the APM will run nine trains of four cars each. The cars are designed to carry up to 50 passengers and their luggage for up to 200 passengers per train. Passengers who need to travel from the Consolidated Rent-A-Car Facility at one end of the line to the West CTA Station at the other end will be able to do so in 10 minutes.
The APM will provide enhanced connection and an improved user experience for an anticipated 30 million passengers each year. Furthermore, it will help alleviate congestion in the surrounding communities.
“The LAX Automated People Mover is coming to life right before our eyes as the centerpiece of our multibillion-dollar airport modernization program, with a sharp focus on building a sustainable LAX for the future of our city. This transformative transportation system will remove cars from the road, help ease traffic congestion around our Central Terminal Area, and create a reliable way for our tens of millions of passengers to access the airport.”
— Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports
“This project builds on a robust vision for sustainability, entirely transforming the way passengers move around and through Los Angeles International Airport and significantly reducing the reliance on automobiles for ground access. All that is achieved broadly for community sustainability, quality of life, stakeholder involvement, and energy use on this project make it a well-deserved recipient of the Envision Gold Award.”
— Melissa Peneycad, ISI managing director.
VERIFIED SUSTAINABILITY ACHIEVEMENTS
Planning for sustainable communities.
Sustainability factors were included in the project’s identification and selection phase; four project alternatives, plus a no-build alternative, were evaluated with sustainability in mind. The chosen APM project at the airport will overhaul and modernize LAX’s ground access and transportation connections for passengers. It is aligned with the LAX Master Plan and southern California’s regional transportation plans. It is part of a broader community-wide sustainable development plan in the 2016-2040 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategies and LA’s Green New Deal, also known as “Sustainable City pLAn 2019.”
By connecting Angelinos and passengers at LAX to Los Angeles Metro’s light rail network, fewer vehicles will need to enter and exit the airport, reducing congestion and emissions and ultimately contributing to a more sustainable community.
Improving community quality of life.
The LAX APM project scored exceptionally well across many indicators in the Envision framework pertaining to improving community quality of life, from minimizing light pollution and noise and vibration to improving mobility and access to providing convenient and sustainable transportation options. In some of these areas, the project team went above and beyond the highest requirements outlined in Envision, earning the team extra credit for their accomplishments.
With respect to encouraging sustainable transportation, the project integrates with the new LA Metro Crenshaw/LAX rail line, thereby contributing to a larger integrated mass transportation strategy for the airport community and the greater LA Basin region. This will enhance the level of service that LAX and LA Metro provides, as visitors and staff will have a more convenient way of traveling between LAX and the LA Basin.
Regarding improving community mobility and access, the APM will relieve traffic congestion in three ways. First, the convenient system will encourage private car users to drop off, pick up, or park off-site so their cars do not enter the CTA. Second, the direct link to light rail and municipal bus service will encourage the use of the city’s public transportation systems for traveling in and around LAX. Third, by requiring all rental car companies to conduct business out of the Consolidated Rent-A-Car Facility and to cease commercial shuttle service in the CTA, the project is expected to eliminate 20% of this type of vehicular traffic on the arrivals level of the airport alone.
Meaningful stakeholder engagement.
“Determining which stakeholders to engage can be a daunting undertaking, especially in the context of airport projects, where the definition of ‘community stakeholders’ can be very different compared to other projects. But the first step towards a robust and meaningful stakeholder engagement process is identifying the stakeholders that need to be involved and why, and then determining the best, most effective means of engagement to ensure they can meaningfully contribute to project outcomes,” notes Melissa Peneycad. “The LAX APM project team did a great job of identifying and engaging stakeholders and even solicited input from stakeholders as to their satisfaction with the engagement process and the resulting decisions based on their input.”
Throughout this project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process, stakeholders challenged the project team to ensure compatibility with the neighboring community by implementing measures and requirements that addressed their concerns for traffic, noise, and air quality (among others). The project team reviewed stakeholder feedback, and revisions made to the EIR based on stakeholder comments impacted the project’s design and contributed to more sustainable outcomes.
Using renewable energy.
The project is expected to consume nearly 5 million kWh per year. To reduce the impact of this energy consumption, the team looked for ways to incorporate as much renewable energy into the project as possible. An on-site photovoltaic array will supply just under 44% of the energy required to operate the project.
PROJECT DETAILS AT-A-GLANCE
Envision-Verified Project: LAX Automated People Mover
Location: Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California
Envision Rating: Gold
Owner: Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)
Project Delivery: Design Build
Lead Envision Firm: Brightworks Sustainability
Award Date: LAWA (owner), LINX (Design-Build-Operator), Brightworks Sustainability (Envision Consultant)
Project Phase: Under construction
For More Information: Visit the project website.
Download the Project Profile & Award Announcement.