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Garcetti Praises Plans For Construction Of LAX Light-Rail Station

LOS ANGELES ( — Mayor Eric Garcetti on Friday announced a new light-rail station at Los Angeles International Airport that will eventually take travelers directly into the airport.

KNX 1070's Margaret Carrero reports the project has been a topic of discussion for decades, but it could be years before the station actually becomes operational.

LA Mayor To Announce Construction Of LAX Light Rail Station

Metro board officials Thursday approved plans for the $200 million train station, which will be built at 96th Street and Aviation Boulevard, about a half-mile from the airport. From there, LAX hopes to have a people-mover, an elevated monorail that would transport travelers in a loop to all the terminals.

Currently, the Metro Green Line bus stops at the 105 Freeway and Aviation Boulevard, forcing travelers to have to hop off with their luggage and catch a shuttle bus about a mile to the airport.

"World-class cities have world class airports and world class transit, and today, we're fixing a past mistake to finally bring trains to the planes," Garcetti said in a statement following the LAX vote. "As Mayor and MTA Vice Chair, l've made this a top priority and as the next MTA Chair, I'm going to see this through. I applaud my colleagues on the MTA Board for their vote today to move forward on this project."

City Councilman and Metro board member Mike Bonin said the new station will be key for future projects.

"It'll be the Crenshaw Line and the Green Line; it'll also be a place where buses can go," Bonin said. "But it's also a place where, in the future, we can do north-south rail from the airport up through Sepulveda Pass and into the [San Fernando] Valley."

Los Angeles World Airports is expected to finalize plans for the people-mover in December and service could begin operating in 2022. However, Ridley-Thomas hoped the chances would be complete by 2019.

While the plan has its fair share of supporters, some commuters sounded skeptical of the proposal.

"Seeing is believing, 'cause that last one was supposed to come here," said one man.

Elis Barahona, who was traveling on the Green Line and was waiting to take a shuttle to LAX, said the extension of rail to the airport would make travel easier.

"I know it is going to take to and from LAX to wherever I am going versus having to come look for the shuttle, not knowing when the shuttle is going to come and go or even if I am at the right shuttle stop," Barahona said.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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