In 2018 the Los Angeles Dodgers and Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies LLC (LA ART) unveiled plans for a gondola system, an aerial rapid transit connection, that would run from Union Station to Dodger Stadium.
A year later, the Metro Board of Directors agreed to move ahead with the environmental review process with a unanimous vote that paved the way for to Metro agree to be the lead agency for the project’s California Environmental Quality Act review.
The project, which is being funded by former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, was backed early by L.A. Major Eric Garcetti and came together under Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation, but recently, it has been facing backlash from residents.
Local residents are concerned a Dodger Stadium gondola system will run through their community and take away privacy as McCourt has already been buying property in the neighborhoods and displacing residents, but LA ART spokesperson Jennifer Rivera says this isn’t the case, via Rachel Uragna of the L.A. Times:
“Frank McCourt has a long history of being solutions oriented. He lived the Dodger traffic and understands the congestion and he believes that aerial transit is a proven technology that’s efficient and provides clean transportation,” she said. The route will not displace any residents and it runs mostly along public property and city streets, she noted.
Additionally, the California Endowment, a nonprofit, is also opposing the gondola system through the L.A. County Superior Court, arguing the project was fast-tracked without public vetting.
When the project was first announced, total costs were estimated to be $125 million. However, LA ART said those have risen and it is working on a financing plan that will be submitted to Metro in the coming months.
LA ART wants the gondola built in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics. While there are no Olympic events yet planned at Dodger Stadium, the gondola would provide sweeping views of downtown L.A. and the San Gabriel Mountains.
How would Dodger Stadium gondola system work?
The system was designed to provide the first permanent public transit link to Chavez Ravine and will only take around five minutes of travel time.
It would be able to move more than 5,000 passengers per hour, per direction and should help greatly with the traffic both around Dodger Stadium and downtown Los Angeles. Under current plans, each cabin would hold around 30-40 passengers, and the system will serve all Dodgers home games and special events at Dodger Stadium.
It can also possibly operate daily to serve visitors seeking to enjoy the scenic gondola experience. At present time, the existing Metro system only provides a game-day shuttle connection between Union Station and Dodger Stadium.
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