LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles World Airports board of commissioners has approved its piece of a plan to connect Los Angeles International Airport to the region's rail transit system.
LAWA's board approved on Thursday a $4 billion ground transportation plan that includes a $1.5 billion monorail line from LAX to a Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority light rail station a mile and a half away from the airport's central terminal area.
"This program will transform how people travel to and from LAX in the future," Sean Burton, president of the Board of Airport commissioners said in a statement.
L.A. Metro's board had approved plans for the $200 million light rail station at 96th Street and Aviation Boulevard in June. The station would connect Metro's Crenshaw Line, now under construction, to LAWA's automated aerial rail system, referred to as the people mover. The system's Green Line, which runs from Norwalk to the South Bay, would also connect to the station.
"Our part is to build the intermodal transit facility that will include bus connections and a light rail connection to the Green Line," said David Yale, Metro's managing executive officer of county-wide planning and development.
Airport and Metro officials are still working on a plan that would allow remote baggage check-in at the transit facility, Yale said.
The plan represents a compromise between airport and Metro officials that was several years in the making.
Measure R, the half-cent sales tax for transportation that the region's voters approved in 2008, has $330 million earmarked for construction of the station.
The station is among of $14 billion of "priority projects" included in a 10-year short-range transportation plan approved by the Metro board in July as a bridge to the 30-year long-range transportation plan. Of that total, $8 billion is for mass transit rail projects with the remaining $5.5 billion is for three highway improvement projects.
The pattern for Metro's capital program has been to issue short-term commercial paper, to later be taken out by longer-term bonds, Yale said.
Metro just closed Thursday on a $135.8 million partial refunding of voter-approved Proposition A-funded 2005 bonds saving $29.5 million over the 20-year life of the bonds, said Donna Mills, Metro's treasurer. Winning bidder Wells Fargo purchased the bonds at a 2.910%, Mills said, with only a six basis point spread between the winning bid and the covered bid of 2.916%.
Metro's last issued new money for $300 million in December 2013. Metro has no plans for new money bonds in the near-term, Mills said. Metro is looking at another refunding on the 2005 Proposition A bonds and at refunding $86.2 million in option rate bonds into fixed-rate.
Metro has commercial paper programs backed by its other two half-cent sales tax measures, Proposition A and C, and is planning to create one for Measure R, Mills said.