How Convenient Will Taking the LAX People Mover Be?

Elevators, escalators, and moving sidewalks—but no traffic!
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To the delight of many, construction began last month on the city’s long-awaited rail connection to LAX. When it opens in about four years, the LAX People Mover will drop off travelers at the airport’s eight terminals and connect to Metro’s Crenshaw and Green Lines.

The people mover will have three stations within LAX (and three outside, with two “intermodal transit facilities” and a central car rental facility). At an airport as mammoth as LAX, that will mean covering some distance between the people mover stations and the terminals. Thankfully, six of the seven walkways to the terminals—which will require descending down an elevator or escalator—will include moving sidewalks.

“If a person was to take one step on the moving sidewalk from the station and simply ride it across to the terminal area it would take approximately four minutes,” Stephanie Sampson, director of communication for the LAX Landside Access Modernization Program, which includes the people mover, tells us.

One of the walkways will connect to the East station (connecting to terminals 7/8), three to the Center station (terminals 1.5, 2, 5/6), and three to the West station (terminals 3, 4/5, and the Tom Bradley International Terminal). An eighth walkway to Terminal 1 will be built in the future—opening after 2023—but travelers will be also able to access that area, which houses Southwest Airlines, via the Center Station’s walkway to Terminal 1.5.

The connection to the International Terminal is too short (180 feet) for a moving sidewalk, but all other walkways will feature the amenity. The average length of each walkway is 422 feet, with the longest being the Center station’s connection to terminals 5/6 at 622 feet.

“[The moving sidewalks] are not all the way from beginning to end because of changes in direction, structure or in the case of bridges over World Way, they are not deep enough to house moving sidewalks,” Sampson writes. “So there are pockets of areas where there are gaps and are just regular walkways.”

In other words, you’ll get a few steps in before being scrunched in a sitting position for numerous hours.


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