- The Los Angeles City Council approved a $4.9 billion contract with the Fluor-led LAX Integrated Express Solutions (LINXS) consortium to design, build and operate a people-mover system at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), according to the Associated Press.
- The 2.5-mile elevated system will feature electric driverless cars, which will carry passengers between a light-rail station, terminals, a transportation center and a consolidated rental car facility, according to the Los Angeles Times. The system is expected to be operational in 2023. LAX will pay for $3.8 billion of the project from airport revenue, and LINXS will pick up the balance through an issuance of tax-exempt bonds.
- LINXS won the contract, one of the biggest in city history, by submitting a bid that was 4% less than airport officials estimated and $700 million less than other firms bidding on the project. The construction portion of the contract is valued at just short of $2 billion, which will be paid to LINXS in six payments as it meets predetermined benchmarks. LAX will then make annual payments to LINXS as part of the 25-year operations and maintenance contract.
As major airports continue to expand in physical size and passenger flow, the ability to move extra people in an efficient, quick manner around the property and to nearby mass transit stations has become an important consideration — one that construction and transportation firms are pursuing with new or improved technologies.
Last month Bombardier Transportation, also part of the LINXS team, won a $305 million contract to extend the automated people-mover system at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, according to the company. Bombardier will lengthen the PHX Sky Train 2.5 miles to the airport's rental car center, build two new stations, increase the size of the system's maintenance facility and provide new vehicles. Eight of the 10 busiest U.S. airports have chosen Bombardier for their automated transit systems, company officials said in a statement.
Meanwhile, passengers traveling between O'Hare International Airport and downtown Chicago could soon be making the trip in 20 minutes or less, but exactly how that will happen remains to be seen. There are two finalists bidding on the express train service, but the design details won't be revealed until after the final proposals are submitted on May 18. One of the companies putting together a bid is Elon Musk's The Boring Company, and early indications are that his design will be similar to a high-speed, underground sled system he proposed for Los Angeles.