The City of Inglewood is considering plans to construct an elevated transit system to connect a new NFL stadium with the under-construction Crenshaw/LAX light rail line.

The project, as detailed in a study first spotted by the Daily Breeze, is proposed as an approximately 1.8-mile automated people mover system - similar to that which will link the Crenshaw Line with Los Angeles International Airport.  A map of the preferred alternative shows a meandering route starting at the upcoming Downtown Inglewood rail station, proceeding south down Market Street before turning east onto Manchester, then turning south onto Prairie Avenue.  Current plans call for five total stations, which would be located at or near:

  • Market Street and Florence Avenue
  • Market Street and Manchester Avenue
  • The Forum
  • The Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District
  • The proposed Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center

Other alignments running along Arbor Vitae Street, Century Boulevard, and Prairie Avenue were also studied, but not recommended, as the Market-Manchester route would connect a larger number of activity centers, minimize the need for utility relocation, and provides the greatest opportunity for economic development.

Alternative technologies such as rubber-tired trains, monorail, and steel-wheeled trains were also studied.

The study estimates that average weekday ridership for the Market-Manchester alignment would be nearly 5,000 passengers, amounting to approximately 2.6 million annual trips.  An estimated 1.02 million annual trips would also be taken by attendees of events at the NFL Stadium and other venues, which is not accounted for in the previous figure.

A proposed fleet of 32 vehicles would operate at maximum speeds of 50 miles per hour, with an estimated round trip time of just under 13 minutes.  Trains would operate in maximum four-car sets, with normal frequencies of approximately six minutes.  Special event days would see frequencies between 1.5 and 3.5 minutes.

Construction costs - based on 2018 conditions - are estimated at $614.4 million for the Market-Manchester alignment, making it the least expensive of the four routes studied.  Cost estimates for the other three alignments range between $625 million and $769 million.  Funding could be provided through an enhanced infrastructure finance district and a variety of local, state, and federal sources, according to the study.

The proposal for an automated people mover emerges following several attempts by Inglewood's Mayor James Butts to bring Metro Rail service into the heart of the city.  He had previously sought a different route for the Crenshaw/LAX Line, and had proposed constructing the proposed South Bay Green Line extension to serve the new NFL Stadium, as well as the surrounding mixed-use development which will include upwards of 3,000 residential units, a 300-room hotel, and 400,000 square feet of commercial space.

The potential terminus at Century Boulevard would sit at the doorstep of a new basketball arena planned by an entity affiliated with the Los Angeles Clippers, which hopes to relocate from Staples Center to a new facility on land currently owned by the City of Inglewood.  Although the proposed arena and entertainment complex has initiated its environmental review period, it still faces a legal challenge from the Madison Square Garden Company, which owns the nearby Forum.  MSG Company previously held rights to the City-owned land where the complex is planned, and alleges that Inglewood's mayor duped them into giving up its leasehold by stating that he hoped to facilitate an office development, not a competing venue.