It's been floated for years as an alternative to hellish traffic at Dodger Stadium, but someone has finally put their money where their mouth is.Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies, LLC has announced plans to construct a gondola system that could ferry passengers between Union Station and Dodger Stadium in a five-minute end-to-end ride. Each cabin would be capable of accommodating 30 to 40 passengers, according to an official website, with capacity for up to 5,000 passengers per hour at peak frequencies.
The project, which carries an estimated cost of $125-million, would be funded in part by former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and other private sources. McCourt, who sold the Dodgers in 2011 to Guggenheim Partners, still retains partial ownership of the sprawling surface parking lots that wrap their eponymous stadium.
Although fares have not been set yet, the Los Angeles Times reports that ticket costs would be cheaper than Dodger Stadium parking - currently priced at approximately $20.
McCourt's group is seeking Metro approval for the project, including the preparation of an environmental impact report and community outreach. The company would also pursue a lease for space to build a stop at Union Station.
According to the Times, the project would require some right-of-way acquisition in the Chinatown area, but would be elevated high enough to avoid encroaching on the air rights of properties below.
The public outreach process could begin later this year, with a route to be set in 2019 or 2020. Service could begin in time for opening day in 2022.
The only existing transit service to Dodger Stadium is the Dodger Stadium Express, a gameday bus line operated by Metro.
- Union Station Archive (Urbanize LA)