Countless baseball fans are unfortunately familiar with the rush-hour, bumper to bumper traffic when heading towards Chavez Ravine. Former Dodgers owner, Frank McCourt has a company now that gave a proposition. What if there was a gondola lift that would take people from Union Station to Dodger Stadium for a total travel time of five minutes.
The idea may be crazy to imagine in a city used to failed ideas, but backers say this plan is the real deal.
Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti plans to announce the project on Thursday at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority meeting. He says this will not only be a benefit for Dodgers games but a drawing point for tourists as well.
Although usually seen in ski resorts, gondolas appear all over the world in major cities such as London and Taipei. The double as both aerial transportation and an attraction for tourists. This additional aerial transportation would help with the congestion of the already crowded streets of Los Angeles.
The Potential Process of Adding a Gondola to Los Angeles
McCourt’s investment firm is to fund part of the estimated $125 million cost. The rest would be through private financing. When he sold the Dodgers in 2011, McCourt kept half of the interest of the 130 acres around the stadium for parking which is where the gondolas would deposit their passengers.
Metro’s approval is currently being sought after for the project. With its positive potential impact on the environment, the company is looking to build one at Union Station as well.
The fare for the gondolas would be cheaper than parking at Dodger Stadium which is about $20. However, the exact price is still under negotiation.
The only mass-transit option now to Dodger Stadium is a Metro bus which has lanes dedicated to only buses on Sunset Boulevard. The hope is to add to, not replace the bus service.
Garcetti explains that this would enable another 5,000 people to attend games without a vehicle. Even with the bus, it’s still on the road, and thus, a victim of some traffic.
It is the hope that public outreach will commence by the end of the year. Final decisions as to the routes and stations sometime in 2019 or 2020. If all goes according to plan, the gondolas can be up and running by opening day of 2022. This timeline allows for them to be well established by the 2028 Summer Olympics.