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Dodger Stadium gondola plans refined

Plans for a proposed Dodger Stadium gondola have been refined to now encompass a single route between downtown Los Angeles’s Union Station to Dodger Stadium, adding a intermediate stop in Chinatown.

Los Angeles Aerial Rapid Transit (LA ART) had been studying two different routes for a Dodger Stadium gondola, with one route running generally over Alameda Street and one running generally over Spring Street. The decision was made to focus on the Alameda Street line in what’s called the Broadway Alignment. With this route, the aerial gondola would fly close to the Metro L Line (Gold) light rail tracks along the southern edge of the Los Angeles State Historic Park, which is bordered by the light rail tracks.

“This project offers an innovative transit alternative that can significantly improve traffic and accessibility for both Angelenos and Dodger fans,” according to a statement issued by the gondola organizers and attributed to Los Angeles Dodgers management.

The gondola proposal comes from Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies LLC, owned by McCourt Global, which in turn is owned by former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt.

The timeline for the gondola system has been extended, with the environmental review to be completed by 2022 after public comment this fall and construction beginning as early as 2025. At full capacity, the gondola system could move up to 5,500 people per hour to the ballpark, allowing over 10,000 fans to commute to the ballpark before the start of a game. While this won’t relieve all the traffic issues at Dodger Stadium, a gondola system could lessen the traffic. Dodger Stadium was built at the peak of car culture, with over 18,000 parking spots at the ballpark, and while there is a dedicated bus line, the Dodger Stadium Express, running to and from the ballpark, there is obviously room for additional mass-transit solutions. These are not either/or situations, and no one solution will ease the Dodger Stadium traffic congestion. Another proposed high-speed transit option, an underground tunnel once pitched by Elon Musk, appeared to have been dropped by the Boring Company.

Gondolas have also been discussed as a potential option for the Oakland A’s if they build a new ballpark at Howard TerminalA proposed Portland (OR) ballpark features a gondola system bringing fans to and from a waterfront site. (Tunnels and gondola are an interesting trend now in alternative ballpark transportation.) A Portland Aerial Tram already serves some 2.1 million users a year, and Disney runs a gondola system at Florida’s Disney World to link parks with farflung resorts.

Renderings courtesy Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies LLC.

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