Non-stop FlyAway bus service between Union Station and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) began today. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, airport and public transportation officials, and riders were among the first people to use the new service following a news conference and inaugural ceremonies.
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) has partnered with Metro to provide the new FlyAway service that takes passengers directly from Patsaouras Transit Plaza to LAX airline terminals in 45 minutes or less using freeway carpool lanes.
Mayor Villaraigosa, who heads LAWA (a City department) and chairs the Metro board, said, "The new FlyAway service connects Los Angeles' international air gateway with Los Angeles County's major intermodal transit hub at Union Station. The FlyAway provides a valuable service by bringing the world much closer for both Angelenos and visitors to Los Angeles."
"The FlyAway at Union Station will significantly improve customer service at LAX," said Lydia H. Kennard, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, which owns and operates LAX and three other Southern California airports. She added, "Like our popular FlyAway service from San Fernando Valley, we believe this new non-stop bus service at Union Station will make getting to and from LAX more convenient and hassle-free for air travelers."
Roger Snoble, Metro chief executive officer, said, "The introduction of FlyAway airport shuttle service at Union Station, L.A.'s major transportation hub, provides an invaluable new service option for Metro's transit customers. The multitude of bus and rail connections at Union Station makes the convenience of FlyAway service available to tens of thousands of daily transit riders."
More than 50,000 trips are made through Union Station on a daily basis, which includes those trips made via Metro Red and Gold Lines, Metrolink and Amtrak trains, DASH, Metro and various municipal bus operators.
To encourage the use of public transit, from March 15 through March 31, riders presenting tickets or passes from public transit operators, including taxi receipts, can receive a free FlyAway roundtrip ticket.
The new non-stop FlyAway operates from Berth 9 at Patsaouras Transit Plaza, which is located on the east side of Union Station at Gateway Center (Metro headquarters) and is accessed by car via Vignes Street. Buses run in both directions every 30 minutes between the hours of 5 a.m. and 1 a.m., and every hour from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. The buses depart Patsaouras Transit Plaza and LAX on the hour and half-hour everyday, including weekends and holidays.
The 20-mile ride costs $3 one-way for adults, $2 for children between 2 and 12 years, and free for children under 2 years. Tickets are available from a kiosk staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and located a few feet from the FlyAway stop at Patsaouras Transit Plaza.
FlyAway buses will drop off passengers at LAX on the Upper/Departures Level in front of each terminal. Passengers departing LAX will be picked up on the Lower/Arrivals Level in front of each terminal under green signs marked "FlyAway, Buses and Long-Distance Vans."
Parking for up to 30 days is available at Gateway Center Garage (enter on Vignes Street) for $6 a day for a 24-hour period. Five hundred covered parking spaces are available for FlyAway customers.
Cash only is accepted for the bus ride. An automated teller machine (ATM) is located inside Union Station (Alameda Street side). Cash and checks are accepted for parking.
FlyAway buses are designed with luggage bays and feature cushioned seats. Porter service will be available to riders. The new service complies with requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act. The buses are equipped with wheelchair lifts. Parking slots for vehicles displaying disabled placards or license plates are available in the Gateway Center Garage.
Nonstop shuttle buses to the airport will be offered from a new park-and-ride site in downtown L.A.
Although still in the early planning stages, officials believe that the line could be opened by 2015 if they can secure the $1 billion needed to build it.
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Rivera will be directly responsible for the daily operations of LAX, including airfield, terminal and emergency coordination operations.