Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority officials have signed a letter of intent with Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies to formally begin the process of building a privately-funded gondola system to ferry passengers between Dodger Stadium and Union Station, Metro officials announced Thursday.
The move begins the project development phase of the proposal, clearing the way for negotiations about the specifics of the project, Metro said in a written statement.
“This is a critical milestone in developing an innovative and exciting way for Dodgers fans to get to the game while reducing traffic,” Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington said. “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.”
ARTT is looking forward to making the project a reality, representatives said.
“The signing of a letter of intent with Metro is a critical step in building the gondola between Union Station and Dodger Stadium,” ARTT Project Manager Martha Welborne said. “This privately-funded, zero-emission transit line will have the capacity to move thousands of people every hour while reducing traffic and directly linking Dodger Stadium with the region’s public transit system. We look forward to working with Metro staff to get the aerial off the ground and fans flying to the stadium in 2022.”
Metro set up a program in 2016 called the Unsolicited Proposals program to encourage innovations not likely to occur through Metro’s usual procurement process.
“This proposal is precisely the kind of out-of-the-box thinking we envisioned when we set up our Unsolicited Proposals process,” according to 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.”
But ARTT isn’t the only company with ideas about improving travel to and from Dodger Stadium.
Meanwhile, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has announced plans to build a high-speed under ground tunnel transportation system to carry passengers between Dodger Stadium and East Hollywood in under four minutes. The so-called “Dugout Loop” is slated for completion in 2020.