The proposed Inglewood Transit Connector Project in Los Angeles County is a step closer to reality as the Federal Transit Administration has agreed to pay for half of the project’s $2-billion estimated cost. Officials aim to have the work complete in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics in L.A. 

The Inglewood Transit Connector (ITC) is planned to be a 1.6-mile elevated automated people mover system with three stations. It would provide access to large venues including the Kia Forum, which is slated to host Olympics gymnastics events; SoFi Stadium, home of the NFL’s Chargers and Rams; and Intuit Dome, where the NBA’s Clippers are set to play following construction that is scheduled for completion this summer. It would also connect to L.A. Metro’s K Line train at the Downtown Inglewood Station. 

The ITC Joint Powers Authority, which was formed by the city of Inglewood and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to oversee the project and future system, shortlisted three design-build-finance-operate-maintain teams for the project last year. Those teams include Elevate Inglewood Partners, which includes lead contractor Tutor Perini and designer Parsons; Envision Inglewood Connected with Ferrovial Construction and Griffith Co. plus Transit Technology Provider International and SENER Engineering; and Inglewood Community Connectors with Dragados USA plus AZTEC Engineering and Perkins Eastman Architects DPC. 

The exact type of people mover also remains to be decided; each team includes a different transit technology provider. Elevate Inglewood Partners has Woojin, Envision Inglewood Connected includes Alstom and Inglewood Community Connectors is joined by Doppelmayr. 

The Joint Powers Authority has said it anticipates awarding a contract this summer.

ITC_map.pngThe ITC would connect to L.A. Metro’s K Line. Map courtesy ITC Joint Powers Authority

The $1-billion grant from FTA through its Capital investment Grant program is not the full amount the Joint Powers Authority hoped the agency would provide. It represents 50% of the expected capital cost, though the authority had sought a 60% FTA cost share. Inglewood officials say they have secured another $873 million in local, state and other federal funds so far, and they plan to leverage those and the new FTA grant to close the gap in costs.

The project is part of  push to build infrastructure ahead of the Olympics, but local officials say the project is important beyond the event to fill a “last mile” transportation gap for people traveling to the area. The ITC is planned to carry as many as 11,000 riders per hour and the Joint Powers Authority anticipates annual ridership of 4.1 million in 2028. It projects that number increasing to 7.9 million riders by 2078. 

“By signaling their commitment to invest significantly in our project, the federal government is recognizing the importance of providing better transportation options for our residents and to everyone in our region who wants to work and visit our city and its outstanding sports, entertainment, and commercial facilities,” Inglewood Mayor James Butts said in a statement. 

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