LA to ONT Maglev?

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously authorized $565,000 to help fund a study for an east-west maglev train between Ontario and Los Angeles. The 50-mile route would run from Ontario International Airport westward to an as-of-yet determined terminus on Los Angeles’ westside, with stops proposed for West Covina and Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.

The study, commissioned by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), is being funded primarily from a $2.5M grant from Washington, with local matching funds making up the rest. SCAG envisions the maglev as one component for strengthening regional commerce as well as relieving gridlock via future expansions into neighboring Riverside and Orange counties.

If built, the $5B Southern California maglev could find itself competing against a much larger, statewide maglev system proposed by the California High Speed Rail Authority. Greatly ahead planning-wise than the SCAG version, the $30B Northern-to-Southern California system uses a similar LA-ONT route and could be on the ballot as soon as the upcoming November election.

Although opponents of both systems say maglev technology is yet to be fully tested, and thus, less-costly alternatives should be pursued, SCAG executive director Mark Pisano believes the region must stay ahead in the technology race:

“This one we have to have,” said Pisano.

Los Angeles Times – March 17, 2004

Sources: Los Angeles Times (LAT-20040317)

2024 PAGE UPDATE: Added newspaper citation/insert; removed outdated link to newspaper article; updated link to California High Speed Rail Authority.

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One Comment

  1. Interesting. DC-Baltimore have been looking at a similar system. The problem is the cost per ticket would be extremely high — predications range $30-$40 one way for the 14 minute trip. The Bush Administration has been avoiding the topic, however, as its clear they don’t want to pay for it.

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