Los Angeles

Take Me Up to the Ball Game: Aerial System Proposed to Carry Dodgers Fans to Blue Heaven

Renderings of a proposed aerial transit system that would "fly" fans to Dodger Stadium were released Thursday, part of an effort to reduce traffic congestion in neighborhoods near the historic venue.  

The aerial rapid transit connection would leave from downtown Los Angeles' Union Station and carry fans north to the stadium. Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies LLC submitted its proposal Wednesday to Metro.

"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," said Martha Welborne, Project Director of ARTT. "We look forward to working with Metro to make it a reality."

The system would carry about 5,000 riders per hour in each direction. It's expected to ease traffic congestion on freeways and streets near the stadium.

The ride will be about five minutes.

"Dodger fans know better than anyone: making history means swinging for the fences and never stopping until you get home," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "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."

Project funding would be provided by ARTT. Costs are expected to run around $125 million.

The proposal was submitted through the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Unsolicited Proposal process. The policy allows private sector companies to offer "outside-the-box" ideas to improve Metro projects and services. The plans go through a 60-day review after which the agency can choose to advance to a second phase.

"Dodger Stadium is one of the crown jewels of baseball and draws fans from across our region and the nation," said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. "We take seriously any idea that provides a good alternative to driving, and we're eager to consider this proposal from the private sector and advise our Metro Board accordingly."

It's not the first time an aerial tram system has been floated. Gondolas were part of an informational study in 1990 by the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission, but the plans was never pursued.

Metro currently operates a popular Dodger Stadium Express free bus service from Union Station. A second route was added from the South Bay in 2015.

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