Aug. 22, 2007

Drivers dropping off passengers at Los Angeles International Airport might have to pay a toll to enter the arrival and departure loops, as the city studies congestion pricing.

L.A. City Council members Bill Rosendahl and Wendy Greuel on Friday asked the city Transportation Department to study whether tolls should be imposed on vehicles that enter the central terminal area, with the funds going toward mass-transit projects.

The study would examine congestion pricing for LAX-bound vehicles -- meaning drivers would pay more during high-traffic periods, Rosendahl said.

``Our traffic requires us to think out of the box,'' said Rosendahl, whose 11th District includes LAX. ``I will leave no stone unturned in trying to find ways to free our streets, especially Westside streets, of traffic gridlock.''

Under the proposal, residents living outside Los Angeles County would pay a higher fee than local motorists driving to the airport. An automated people-mover would provide a free alternative.

Funds from the tolls could go toward more FlyAway bus service and extending the Metro Green Line to LAX, Rosendahl said.

More than 25.6 million vehicles entered the central terminal last year, LAX officials said.

The city's Transportation Department, chief legislative analyst and administrative office will present the study to the City Council's Transportation Committee.

``In order to provide comprehensive long-term solutions, we must examine the whole spectrum of congestion-reducing strategies and decide which are the right fit for our city,'' said Greuel, head of the Transportation Committee.