LAX automated people mover receives gold sustainability award

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The automated people mover (APM) train system at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in California has won an Envision Gold Award for sustainable infrastructure from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI).

The ISI noted that the LAX APM project scored well across indicators in the Envision framework pertaining to improving quality of life, from minimizing light pollution, noise and vibration, to improving mobility and access to convenient and sustainable transportation options. In many of these areas the project team, managed by LAX Integrated Express Solutions (LINXS), went beyond the highest requirements outlined in Envision, earning the team additional accolades for their accomplishments.

The APM was designed to improve connection and user experience for an anticipated 30 million passengers each year. Furthermore, it will help alleviate congestion in the surrounding communities, resulting in approximately 188,000 fewer vehicle kilometers traveled per day. The electric train system runs on a 3.62km elevated guideway with six stations, three of which are inside the Central Terminal Area (CTA) and three outside. The project broke ground in March 2019 and is scheduled to open for passenger service during the first half of 2024. During the airport’s peak hours of 9am to 11pm, the APM will run nine trains of four cars each. The cars are designed to carry up to 50 passengers and their luggage for up to 200 passengers per train. Passengers who need to travel from the Consolidated Rent-A-Car Facility at one end of the line to the CTA station at the other end will be able to do so in 10 minutes.

The LAX APM has many sustainable features such as the electric train cars, which are made from fully recyclable aluminum shells and designed to eliminate hazardous substances and toxic emissions. The regenerative braking system converts kinetic energy lost when decelerating back into energy used for onboard vehicle power demands. Other sustainable elements include a solar power system on the roof of the APM’s maintenance and storage facility (MSF), which will provide 40% of the MSF’s power demand and 7% of the overall APM project’s power demand.

The project also integrates with the new LA Metro Crenshaw/LAX rail line, thereby contributing to a larger integrated mass-transportation strategy for the airport community and the greater LA Basin region. This will enhance the level of service that LAX and LA Metro provides, as visitors and staff will have a more convenient way to travel between LAX and the LA Basin.

Melissa Peneycad, managing director of ISI, said, “This project builds on a robust vision for sustainability, entirely transforming the way passengers move around and through Los Angeles International Airport and significantly reducing the reliance on automobiles for ground access. All that is achieved broadly for community sustainability, quality of life, stakeholder involvement and energy use on this project make it a well-deserved recipient of the Envision Gold Award.”

Justin Erbacci, CEO of  Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), said, “The LAX Automated People Mover is coming to life right before our eyes as the centerpiece of our multibillion-dollar airport modernization program, with a sharp focus on building a sustainable LAX for the future of our city. This transformative transportation system will remove cars from the road, help ease traffic congestion around our Central Terminal Area, and create a reliable way for our tens of millions of passengers to access the airport.”

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