Feds pledge $1 billion to Inglewood people mover to SoFi Stadium, Clippers arena – Orange County Register

Jason Henry



Inglewood is $1 billion closer to building a 1.6-mile automated people mover connecting the Metro K Line to the Kia Forum, SoFi Stadium and the Los Angeles Clippers’ soon-to-be-completed Intuit Dome.

The Federal Transit Administration has agreed to pay for half of the $2 billion project through a capital investment grant, city officials announced Thursday, Jan. 4. Inglewood previously secured $873 million from other local, state and federal sources and plans to leverage the roughly $1.9 billion package to raise the funds necessary cover the remainder of the construction, maintenance and operating costs.

The secured funds represent about 85% of the Inglewood Transit Connector’s anticipated cost, once an extra $200 million in contingency reserves are factored in, according to Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr.

“This is a good day for the people of Inglewood and the entire region,” Butts said in a statement. “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.”

Butts expressed gratitude for the support Inglewood has received from the Biden administration, U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla, the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein and other local and state officials, including Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

The funding “is an endorsement of what can happen when all levels of government work together to benefit the public,” he said.

Inglewood estimates the automated people mover, slated to be completed in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics, will carry about 11,000 riders per hour to the hundreds of annual events at the sports and entertainment district surrounding SoFi Stadium. A joint powers authority, formed by the city and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, is expected to select the team that will implement the project from three prequalified bidders later this summer.

The project is expected to reduce vehicle traffic around the city’s venues, and officials hope it will simultaneously increase foot traffic along Market Street in the heart of Inglewood’s downtown district, where the first station will be located.

The transit connector hasn’t been without its controversies, however.

In April, the City Council approved a plan that will displace 41 businesses and 305 workers to make space for the people mover’s stations and maintenance facilities. Inglewood has pledged to cover relocation costs, but business owners have expressed worry that the disruption — and potential for much higher rent at a new location — could leave them unable to recover.

At the time of the vote, Councilman Eloy Morales pledged that the city will “go above and beyond” to help those affected by the displacement.


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2024-01-05 02:10:21 , News: The Orange County Register

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