LAX’s traffic nightmare could end with new people mover, but you’ll have to wait

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The running joke among Angelenos is that the seven words people least want to hear is “Can you pick me up at LAX?”

City officials hope the line loses its punch soon as the long-promised people mover comes closer to completion. The first automated cars for Los Angeles International Airport’s electric people mover arrived this week, heralding a major milestone for the $2-billion project that’s expected to be completed by 2023.

“After decades of saying no, of airport directors who said I don’t want to give up my parking revenues … of people rolling their bags down Century Boulevard asking friends to pick them up or drop them off, the hell that we knew LAX as is going to be a thing of the past,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti, standing in front of a shiny white electric car that one airport official affectionately called “Bonnie.”

The free system that runs along an elevated 2.25-mile track promises to ease the maddening gridlock that’s a staple of the airport. The cars, when fully running, will be able to ferry 10,000 passengers an hour in and out of the teeming airport, one of the world’s busiest.

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