The Inglewood Transit Connector (ITC) in California is (almost) on its way. Last week the Biden administration invested over $1 billion in the project, which aims to connect downtown Inglewood, a Los Angeles suburb, with several of the area’s largest professional sports and performance venues via a 1.6-mile-long people mover.
This latest round of federal funding amounts to $1,009,430,998, which covers just about half of the projected total capital cost of $2 billion. Prior to the federal funding, the ITC had garnered $873 million from local, state, and federal funds, bringing the project closer to the amount needed to get it moving.
In addition to the funding boost, the ITC, according to the City of Inglewood, has entered “the Engineering phase of project development under the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program.” This program is aimed at building transit-focused infrastructure and requires projects and entities that receive funding “to complete a series of steps over several years.” Among these steps are project evaluations, including reviews of anticipated costs, a hurdle ITC recently cleared.
“This is a good day for the people of Inglewood and the entire region,” said Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts 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.
AN first reported on the ITC in 2018 when the study Envision Inglewood was released, calling for “direct connection to rail” between downtown Inglewood and Hollywood Park—a stadium and entertainment district that now houses SoFi Stadium, Kia Forum, YouTube Theater, and the Intuit Dome. The people mover will connect passengers with the existing Metro K line.
The total cost encompasses construction of the “guideway,” the stations along its route, and 24 “vehicles.” While the mode of transportation will likely be packed on game days, project coordinators anticipate commuters will also benefit from it. ITC will have the capacity to carry 11,000 riders each hour. It replaces and augments the Metro Bus service presently used in the area, reduces traffic congestion on the roadways, and offers an alternative transportation option amidst the region’s growing transit network. Last year it came to light that 44 businesses in the area would have to relocate as a result of the project. Mayor Butts said at least $5 million has been allocated for the uprooted businesses.
The Inglewood Transit Connector Joint Powers Authority (JPA) is the entity overseeing the design, construction, financing, operations and maintenance of the system. According to the city, three prequalified teams are starting on their bids for construction with the chosen team anticipated to be announced in summer 2024. This year the JPA also hopes to secure the remaining funding, with the project “opening for revenue service” in early 2030—two years shy of the 2028 Olympics games in Los Angeles.