One of the last remaining Major League Baseball stadiums not serviced by permanent public transportation could be reached by gondola in 2022, says a group with early support from the Los Angeles Dodgers and Mayor Eric Garcetti. Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies LLC presented the idea to the Metro regional transit authority this morning as part of its Extraordinary Innovation unsolicited proposals program. The tricable system would link Dodgers Stadium to Union Station, the busiest rail hub in the Western United States.
The 3S would be capable of transporting 5,000 passengers per hour and direction along a 1.25 mile route before, during and after Dodgers Stadium events. It would cross over Chinatown and Interstate 110 with a terminus on the southeastern side of the ballpark with an unknown number of towers in between. Utilizing 30 to 40 passenger cabins, the lift would be the largest gauge gondola in the western hemisphere and was selected for its optimal capacity and ease of accessibility. “This is a major investment in the future of Los Angeles, with a zero-emission, sustainable technology that is increasingly popular for urban areas throughout the world,” noted Martha Welborne, project director for ARTT in a press release. “We look forward to working with Metro to make it a reality.” Welborne is a former Senior Vice President of Corporate Real Estate at Disney and also served as Chief Planning Officer at LA Metro.
Mayor Garcetti commented on the project too, saying, “Dodger fans know better than anyone: making history means swinging for the fences and never stopping until you get home. Our team has been at the center of so many landmark moments for Los Angeles, and this bold idea to ease congestion could transform how Angelenos — and millions of visitors — experience our city on their way to and from the ballpark.” Lakers legend Magic Johnson also tweeted his support.
The estimated $125 million project would be funded privately but require the blessing of various public entities, especially to secure a lease at or near Union Station. The founding principal of ARTT is McCourt Global, whose Chairman and CEO Frank McCourt formerly owned the Dodgers. Much work lies ahead for the group including specific route selection and public outreach. Operations are eyed for 2022, six years before Los Angeles hosts the Olympics for a third time.