An aerial gondola may be coming to Los Angeles by 2028, according to a new proposal. The gondola system would transport riders from Union Station to Dodger Stadium and is intended to reduce traffic on major commuter corridors like Sunset Boulevard and Broadway, particularly during game days. Moreover, the gondola system would be active 365 days per year, allowing for increased access to the stadium, even during the off-season.
If you live in Downtown Los Angeles, Chinatown, Echo Park or the Elysian Valley, this project could impact your neighborhood. Here’s what you need to know:
The proposed project includes passenger stations and infrastructure to support cables that carry removable cabins, each with a capacity of between 30-40 passengers. The project is estimated to have a maximum capacity of 5,500 people per hour per direction. The cabins are fully ADA-accessible and provide room for belongings like strollers and bicycles.
The first station is located adjacent to Union Station and Olvera Street. There are two routes being considered:
- The first option would follow Alameda Street in a northeast direction, fly over the Los Angeles State Historic Park to Bishops Road and then over the 110 to Dodger Stadium. Travel time is estimated around seven minutes.
- The second option deemed the “Spring Street Alternative,” would include a Park Station at Spring Street, before moving over the State Historic Park and along Bishops Road.
According to the proposal, the gondola could potentially take 3,000 cars off the roads before and after each Dodger game or event at the stadium to ease congestion and improve safety on surface streets and the freeway. Project proponents also say the gondola will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and increase transit access for underserved communities and for state and city parks.
However, not all community members are on board with the gondola proposal. Some have expressed concern about a lack of parking space near gondola stations and that a station could potentially result in more traffic congestion, rather than less. Other resistance to the project surrounded the construction of gondola towers, tower locations and maintenance. Others simply do not see this project at serving the local community’s needs and want to prioritize other infrastructure initiatives.
Who Is Behind the Project?
Los Angeles Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies LLC (LA ART) submitted an unsolicited proposal to Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation in 2018. The organization is led by Drew McCourt, the son of former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. The project is privately funded and operated, but Metro has agreed to act as the lead agency for the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to support review of the project. LA ART has agreed to reimburse Metro for any expenses.
The EIR process examines potential environmental impacts the tram would have on the surrounding community, such as air quality, cultural and historic resources, water quality and noise, among other categories. Metro is hosting a 45-day public comment period through November 16.
How Can You Get Involved?
To learn more about the project and submit your comments or concerns, visit the Virtual Open House before the November 16 deadline. You can also send an email to LAART@metro.net or submit your comments by mail to:
Mr. Cory Zelmer
Deputy Executive Officer
Metro, One Gateway Plaza
Mail Stop 99-22-6
Los Angeles, CA 90012