The company looking to link Dodger Stadium to Union Station with a privately-funded gondola system has signed a letter of intent with Metro, officially starting negotiations for the construction and operation of the project.
Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies, LLC announced in April plans for an aerial gondola which could ferry baseball fans between Union Station and Dodger Stadium in approximately five minutes. According to a project website, the proposed system could move a maximum of 5,000 passengers per hour in each direction.
The construction cost - estimated at roughly $125 million - would be funded privately. One investor is former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, who sold the baseball team in 2011, but retains an ownership stake in the parking lots which wrap their home field.
“The signing of a letter of intent with Metro is a critical step in building the gondola between Union Station and Dodger Stadium,” said ARTT Project Manager, Martha Welborne. “This privately-funded, zero-emission transit line will have the capacity to move thousands of people every hour while reducing traffic and directly linking Dodger Stadium with the region’s public transit system. We look forward to working with Metro staff to get the aerial off the ground and fans flying to the stadium in 2022.”ARTT must still undertake community outreach and prepare an environmental impact report for the project. The company announced in April that a route for the proposed gondola system is to be announced in either 2019 or 2020. A gondola as a solution to Dodger Stadium's notorious gameday traffic has been talked about for nearly three decades, notably appearing as an alternative created by a predecessor to Metro in 1990. However, it was never formally proposed until ARTT took up the mantle earlier this year. Currently, the only transit option to Dodger Stadium is the Dodger Stadium Express bus, which operates two routes originating at Union Station and the Harbor Gateway Transit Center. A potential competitor for the gondola project has come from SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who has proposed an underground tunnel system which would connect to Dodger Stadium from a Red Line Station on Vermont Avenue.