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Transportation and Mobility

Now Is The Time To Share Your Thoughts On An Aerial Gondola To Dodger Stadium

A digital rendering shows an aerial gondola carrying passengers above green hills with the downtown Los Angeles in the background.
(Courtesy LA ART via L.A. Metro)
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A project to run an aerial gondola between Union Station and Dodger Stadium is now one step closer to happening. And that means it’s time for the public (that’s you!) to weigh in.

This week, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority released a key report — known as a draft environmental impact report — for the project. The agency is holding a series of meetings over the next couple months to present the plan and take public comment.

The full report is available online, along with all the appendices, plus summaries published in English, Spanish and Chinese.

A Brief Overview

The gondola plan, dubbed LA ART, was first pitched to L.A. Metro in 2018 by the private company Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies LLC. Notably, the project is receiving funding from former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt — and the company itself was founded by his son, Drew.

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It’s being touted as a zero-emission alternative that will help fight congestion in the area while ferrying up to 5,000 passengers each hour in each direction between Union Station and Dodger Stadium.

Metro is leading the planning of the project, but the financing, construction and operation would be done by that LLC.

A map of the proposed aerial gondola route.
A map of the proposed aerial gondola route notes where stations, towers and a junction point would be located under the current plan.
(Courtesy L.A. Metro)

The transit system would run “approximately 1.2 miles and consist of cables, three passenger stations, a non-passenger junction, towers, and gondola cabins,” according to Metro.

Maps presented in the EIR show a proposed route running above Alameda Street from Union Station to a planned station where Chinatown meets Los Angeles State Historic Park. From there, the gondola line would continue north over a section of the park before turning slightly northwest above Broadway, running above a neighborhood and high school, cross the 110 Freeway and arrive at a station that would be built in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.

Key Things To Know

  • The trip would take approximately seven minutes each way, according to Metro. 
  • LA ART’s website states that the gondola “will be free to ride for anyone attending a game at Dodger Stadium.”

The company notes that a plan is in the works that would allow people who live or work near the project to ride “using their Metro fare at no additional cost,” but adds that “a separate fare is being evaluated” for all other riders.

The project would require the construction of those stations, a junction and a few towers, which Metro’s EIR states “would result in significant and unavoidable impacts related to noise and vibration.”

A digital rendering depicts peple in Dodger attire walking away from a gondola cabin and toward Dodger Stadium in the background.
A concept rendering for the proposed aerial gondola station at Dodge Stadium.
(Courtesy LA ART)

Why Not Everyone Is A Fan

Some residents, neighborhood groups and local nonprofits aren’t fans of the gondola, citing fears about gentrification.

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Earlier this year, The California Endowment filed a petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court, expressing concerns that the project is getting fast-tracked without enough transparency. The organization also questioned its potential impact, writing:

“Although the need for increased transit infrastructure in Los Angeles is significant, the Gondola Project as proposed functions as a private tourist attraction, not a public transportation line to serve Metro riders.”

Opponents also point out that Dodger fans already have a free option to get to and from Chavez Ravine without driving: L.A. Metro’s Dodger Stadium Express. The bus shuttle runs between Union Station and the stadium on game days, saving hundreds of thousands of fans from traffic and those steep stadium parking fees each season. The bus service transported over 377,000 passengers in 2019, according to Metro officials.

A rendering shows people walking on a street near a station where overhead cables bring a gondola over the street.
The proposed gondola station in Chinatown, near Los Angeles State Historic Park.
(Courtesy LA ART)

How To Share Your Thoughts

If you have questions about the project or want to voice your opinion of the project, Metro is currently taking public comment from now until 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16, 2022.

There are a few ways you can have your voice heard: in-person, online, by phone or with a written letter.

October informational meetings

  • Virtual Meeting via Zoom - Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to Noon
  • In-person meeting at Union Station - Tuesday, Oct. 25 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
    • Los Angeles Union Station Ticket Concourse
    • 800 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

December public hearings

  • In-person meeting at Union Station - Saturday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to noon
    • Los Angeles Union Station Ticket Concourse
    • 800 N Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Other options

  • You can email your comments to Metro staff at LAART@metro.net
  • Metro is taking comments by phone at (213) 922-6913
  • You can write a physical letter with your comments and send them to:
    Cory Zelmer- Deputy Executive Officer
    Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
    One Gateway Plaza, Mail Stop 99-22-6
    Los Angeles, CA 90012
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