Cranky on the Web: Billions of Dollars Pour Into LAX, Singapore’s Longest Haul

Cranky on the Web, LAX - Los Angeles, Singapore Airlines

Los Angeles’ Massive Airport MakeoverIcons of Infrastructure
I stopped doing freelance writing a long time ago, but Icons of Infrastructure asked me if I’d take a crack of some of the projects being done at LAX, and I was happy to jump back in the game. This piece focuses on just three projects – the northern part of the Midfield Satellite Concourse, the Delta SkyWay, and the Landside Access Modernization Project. Read the article for details.

Is now the right time for SIA’s relaunch of the world’s longest flight?Travel Daily Media
I didn’t write about it here on the blog, but Singapore has its new A350-900ULR aircraft coming in and that means Newark is back (with LA to follow). I was asked about why it failed before, and whether it’ll work this time around.

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6 comments on “Cranky on the Web: Billions of Dollars Pour Into LAX, Singapore’s Longest Haul

  1. Hi Cranky,

    I believe some of the statements you made regarding the LAX project need to be clarified, especially about the connection to public transit. The article says “The Metro station is expected to open for service in 2019”, but that’s not the LAX transfer station. When the Crenshaw/LAX line opens in 2019, the current “G” shuttle will move over to a new station at Century/Aviation. The LAX transfer station on Aviation/96th will be built later, and will open concurrently with the people mover.

    The article also mentions ITF-West as the place to connect to city buses (it sits approximately at the location of the current city bus terminal near parking lot C). However, if you look at Metro’s description and renderings of the Airport Metro Connector 96th Street Transit Station (that’s the official name, I guess), you see that when the station opens in 2023, the city bus terminal will be relocated there. This makes sense because it allows easy transfers between bus and rail (the vast majority of passengers on the bus and rail lines are not going to the airport).

    Here’s Metro’s take on the project:

    I don’t know what is meant by the opening of ITF-West in 2020 (since the people mover won’t be nearly ready) — it’s probably an attempt to get hotel and rental car shuttles off the horseshoe a few years before the people-mover (good luck with that). When the project is complete in 2023, city buses will go to the Metro rail station at ITF-East, while ITF-West will be for long-term parking. I believe passenger drop-off will be possible at both sites, car-rental shuttles will have been eliminated by the consolidated car-rental center, and I’m not sure about hotel shuttles and tour buses; my guess is that they’ll be split between the two ITFs based on available space.

    Finally, I know that LAWA likes to have bombastic names, but I think it would be good to replace the terms ITF-West and ITF-East with something more descriptive. ITF-West should be called “Long-term parking”, and ITF-East should be called “Metro station”. I hope this suggestion gets to LAWA somehow :-)

    1. Hi Ron – Thanks for this. A couple things.

      *Yes, I worded that Metro piece poorly. I meant to say that the line would open in 2019, but obviously the station wouldn’t be very helpful until the APM itself opens.

      *On the ITF, it’s not entirely clear to me. I see what Metro says, but the ITF West plans clearly show a place for transit buses.—itf-west-plot-plan.ashx?la=en&hash=9AEA435A6D402CB0E4C2642D342C267B4DB5F4DD

      I suppose the question is… what does that mean? Will they have different buses going to each? I’ve been having trouble getting a definitely answer on that one. I do know that they are supposed to have parking at both ITF facilities, so it wouldn’t shock me if they had bus stops at both.

      1. Yes, I agree that the ITF thing is a bit unclear. The best map I found was in the EIR, volume 3, page 15, with some more detail on pages 98–99 (but I didn’t look closely at the thousands of pages).

        In the maps, LAWA puts the label “ITF” on the parking structures, which begs the question: why not just call them parking structures? I guess the difference is that in the central terminal area you walk from the parking structure to the terminal, while outside the terminal area you take the people mover, which makes the parking structure “intermodal”. Pretty idiotic and confusing terminology, in my opinion.

        As for public transit, it looks like the people-mover station at ITF-East sits right on top of Aviation, with the Metro station to the west of Aviation and the parking structure and kiss-and-fly to the east of Aviation. The Metro station is just a blob on the LAWA map, but Metro’s renderings show it includes both a rail station and bus bays for Metro and municipal lines. The ITF-West rendering does not show much room for buses; my guess is that the label “Transit Bus Stops” just refers to a stop on the street for whatever bus routes happen to go on 96th Street. I don’t see why a transit agency would feel the need to serve two people-mover stops, so my guess is that they’ll stop at ITF-West if the route passes on the street anyway. Right now several routes take 96th because that’s where the City Bus Terminal is located, but once that is moved to the Metro rail station, the routing of the buses could change.

        Some other thoughts and questions:

        – The parking structure at ITF-West sits on part of Lot B. What happens to the rest of Lot B?

        – The parking structure at ITF-West opens in 2020. What happens between then and 2023? My guess is that the City Bus Terminal remains in place, and shuttle bus C serves both, as well as whatever remains of Lot B.

        – Once the two parking structures are built, what happens to the price of long-term parking at LAX? Does it remain at $12/day, or does it go up to cover the cost of the structures? Note that the EIR (volume 3, page 13) anticipates an increase of parking space in the central terminal area once the parking garages are rebuilt following construction of the people mover.

        – Where to people go to drop off or pick up passengers? I have dropped off people at the cell phone waiting lot (to take the shuttle) on several occasions: I do it if the horseshoe is jammed, I’m in a hurry, and they have some time before their flight. The nice thing about the cell phone lot is that it’s right off of Sepulveda. But ITF-West is way east of Sepulveda, almost at Airport Blvd. Dropping someone off there is a bit of a trek, and if indeed the horseshoe traffic improves as a result of this project, you might as well drive them to the terminal. Passenger drop-off at ITF-East makes more sense because it’s right off of Aviation.

        1. Ron – I think you mean Lot C since Lot B was, I believe, the one down by the Proud Bird. Lot C is the big one where the transit center is now. My assumption is that part of it will be lost to the APM tracks and park ‘n ride/drop off areas. I don’t know how much will be left, but I would assume they’d keep it open if they could. Or maybe they make it employee parking or something.

          The rest, I can’t answer. It sounds like a wait-and-see.

          1. Of course I meant Lot C — sorry. If you look at the map in the EIR (which is actually in volume 4, sorry again), there’s a “New ‘A’ St” in a north-south direction about halfway between Sepulveda and Airport Blvd (a bit closer to Sepulveda). The parking structure, APM station and tracks, and car/bus drop-off areas are all between New ‘A’ St and Airport Blvd; the part between New ‘A’ St and Sepulveda looks like it’s demolished.

  2. I’m nitpicking here, but… The Travel Daily piece switches up $/gallion and $/litre prices for jet fuel. It also refers to a person by last name only before properly introducing him by full name and title, which is a huge pet peeve of mine. Not your fault, Cranky, but they need a better editor.

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