Report: Dodger Stadium gondolas would remove thousands of cars on game day

Rob Hayes Image
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Report spells out benefits, consequences of Dodger Stadium gondolas
A new report spells out potential environmental impacts of a proposed gondola that would shuttle thousands of people to Dodger Stadium on game days

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A new report spells out the potential environmental impacts of a proposed gondola that would help shuttle thousands of people by air to Dodger Stadium on game days.

Running more than 3,700 pages, L.A. Metro's environmental impact report details the benefits of the Los Angeles Aerial Rapid Transit (LA ART) gondola system as well as potential negative impacts it would have on the area.

The report notes several "significant" impacts on categories like flying birds, scenic vistas, cultural and historic resources and even human remains.

But those problems are linked to the construction of the project, not the actual gondolas once they are operational.

"The construction impact is just temporary," said Nathan Click, a spokesman for Climate Resolve, the nonprofit that is developing the gondolas. "All of the significant impacts will be gone after the project is completed."

Supporters say the gondolas will provide free rides to people with Dodger tickets on game days, removing as many as 5,000 people from local roads and keeping about 3,000 vehicles out of the stadium parking lots each game.

The gondolas would run on aerial cables from Union Station in downtown LA, over Chinatown and the 110 freeway, before landing in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.

They will definitely be visible. Two of the towers will be nearly 200 feet tall.

The route would carry the gondola cars over LA State Historic Park, something critics say is unacceptable.

"It would really destroy the value of that park," said Jon Christensen, an assistant professor with UCLA's Institute for the Environment and Sustainability. "These small bus-sized cars would fly right over the park, just 26 feet above the ground... constantly, every 23 seconds in each direction."

The EIR says at least one building will have to be demolished and more than 100 trees will need to be removed, including more than 80 at the park.

Christensen says a simpler, more efficient option would be to expand the already-running Dodger Express bus service and electrify the buses.

"It would be 20-times more efficient per passenger trip than the gondola," he said.

Metro's board is set to vote on the gondolas in January, with several city and state agencies waiting to vote as well.

Supporters say if all goes as planned, the gondolas could be up and running in time for the 2028 Olympics.