Maybe it made sense in the late 1950s, as the airport we now know was taking shape. But not in 2011, when the cost and complications of big public works projects make an airport extension way more trouble than it's worth. Blogger Matthew Fleisher outlines the impossible logistics:
If the Green line suddenly did connect to LAX, here is how you would get there from Union Station (which, as it stands now, is your most probable access point to LA's rail lines, unless you live along the 110 or 105 corridors.) First, you would need to take the Red Line to 7th street, where you would then transfer to the Blue line, taking you to Imperial and Wilmington. From there you would need to wait to transfer again to the Green line. Take a look at the crime stats near that stop, by the way, and tell me how long you'd want to wait outside with a suitcase or two. I count two robberies and an assault ON THAT BLOCK this month alone. That's three trains, 42 minutes of travel time, plus wait times for two different transfers. I think we can safely assume that even if everything is running on schedule, at maximum efficiency, that's an hour-long trip minimum--not to mention the pain of carting around your luggage.
Mass transit booster Joel Epstein still dreams of an airport connection:
My flight next week is to San Francisco, where I will exit my plane and get on BART for a quick ride to downtown. When I last lived in San Francisco is 1991, bringing the BART to the airport wasn't a possibility either. The difference between us and them is that San Franciscans had the foresight to realize their public transit vision. It is time Angelenos and LAX showed that same vision. A late bloomer, I have always been one who believes in better late than never.
Does anyone remember when the MTA was seriously considering a monorail from downtown to LAX? It would have cost $40 million to build (from private investors), traveled at 90 mph, and taken a mere 12 minutes from start to finish. But the proposal never gained enough traction. County supervisors said it would have done nothing to help folks who weren't going to the airport (somebody called it a "gravy train"). And that was almost 50 years ago - in 1962. By the way, Fleisher notes that the Flyaway bus works pretty well - and it's cheap.