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Of the many indignities of getting around in Los Angeles, this has always stood out: Unlike the vast majority of big cities worldwide, you still can’t use rail to get to and from the airport.

The deficiency has become even more glaring as traffic congestion has worsened and Los Angeles County has spent billions to push rail lines into locations such as Azusa, East Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Redondo Beach — but not to Los Angeles International Airport.

That all changed Monday, when officials gathered on the outskirts of the airport to break ground on a $900-million Airport Metro Connector project that by 2024 will link the county’s fast-growing rail network to a people mover system being built at LAX.

The project is designed to be up and running in time for the 2028 Olympics. But more important, some officials see it as a potential turning point in L.A.’s ambitious, expensive efforts to make mass transit a serious alternative in a city known for its cars.

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