The son of former Dodger owner Frank McCourt has proposed building a $125 million aerial gondola line high above Chinatown and the 110 Freeway to carry fans on a 5-minute ride between Union Station and the ballpark, officials announced today.
Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies, founded by Drew McCourt, said the gondola line could start transporting as many as 5,000 passengers an hour by 2022 if his company secures the necessary financing and government approvals. The company did not say how much it would charge for the approximately mile-long flight between the station and ballpark.
In addition to serving as a potential tourist attraction and ballpark amenity, gondola backers, which include Mayor Eric Garcetti, are pitching the project as a way to reduce game-day traffic that floods the neighborhoods surrounding the stadium, including Angeleno Heights, Chinatown, Echo Park and Solano Canyon.
“This is an important and innovative project that will significantly improve traffic around Dodger Stadium, taking cars off neighborhood streets,” said a statement issued by the Dodgers.
The gondola operator said it will fund the design and construction of the system with the help of private financing. It did not mention if it would seek public funds or subsidies to complete or operate the line. “This innovative mobility project will be an iconic addition to L.A.’s transportation network,” said Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies founder Drew McCourt.
The L.A. Times said a gondola station at Dodger Stadium would most likely be located by the Downtown Gate near Vin Scully Avenue and Stadium Way. The gondola would run in conjunction with the existing Dodger bus shuttle between the ballpark and Union Station.
“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,” said Garcetti in a statement.
The mayor is expected to present the project to the board of Metro, the transit agency that owns Union Station.
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