A new train would carry passengers from L.A. Metro lines directly to terminals at Los Angeles International Airport, easing traffic at an airport considered one of the busiest in the world, officials said during a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday.
Dubbed the "Automated People Mover," the transit system is expected to be complete by 2023 and would allow the roughly 10,000 people coming in and out of LAX each day to avoid sitting in heavily congested arriving and departing lines, officials said.
The train comes as a much-needed improvement for an airport named the fourth busiest in the world by an Airports Council International report released Wednesday.
Operating every two minutes, each train will haul about 200 people from Metro's Green Line that currently runs through LAX and the upcoming Crenshaw/LAX Line that is still under construction. That rail line is expected to be complete by mid-2020, according to the Los Angeles Times.
All the new LAX trains will be electrically powered and travel to six stations within the airport terminal loop and three stations outside, officials said.
Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the project alongside city, county and airport officials at its groundbreaking Thursday, saying the transit system will transform LAX into a "truly world-class airport."
"We can’t be a world-class neighbor to the communities around here until we confront traffic in a sustainable and responsible way," Garcetti said.
The $4.9 billion contract with LAX Integrated Express Solutions that will fund the design and construction of the train is considered one of the biggest contracts the city has ever given, officials said. The L.A. City Council approved the project last year.