Key report on proposed Dodger Stadium gondola to be released soon as opposition continues

Rob Hayes Image
Thursday, November 30, 2023
Proposed Dodger Stadium gondola met with opposition
Supporters of the proposed Dodger Stadium gondola project say it is on schedule, even though it has been in the works for five years and still has not been approved.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- It's been in the works for years - an aerial gondola system to move Dodgers fans from downtown Los Angeles to Dodger Stadium in minutes.

Supporters of the proposed gondola project say it is on schedule, even though it has been in the works for five years and still has not been approved.

David Grannis, the executive director of the environmental nonprofit Zero Emissions Transit, which is heading up development of the project, says the gondola's environmental impact report is slated to be released Dec. 4.

He says pending governmental approvals, construction is expected to start in early 2026 with the gondolas up and running in time for the 2028 Olympic Games.

The project is officially known as LA ART, which stands for Los Angeles Aerial Rapid Transit, and would run gondolas from Union Station, over Chinatown and the 110 Freeway, directly to Dodger Stadium.

Developers say the service would be free to people who have a Dodger ticket and promises to replace as many as 3,000 cars per game in the stadium parking lot.

"This has a capacity of 5,000 people per hour, per direction," Grannis said. "That's 10,000 people if you go both ways, so huge benefits in terms of moving capacity."

But a group called Stop The Gondola is fighting the project, saying it's price tag has now ballooned to $500 million and won't be able to make a big enough difference.

"We think it's a lot of greenwashing, a lot of hype when there are other possible solutions," said Phyllis Ling, the founder of Stop The Gondola. "As a transit option, it really doesn't make any sense for Dodger Stadium because everyone is trying to get there at the same time and the gondola has a limited capacity."

Ling points to Metro's Dodger Express bus service from Union Station to the stadium on game days, and says it makes more sense to simply add more of those buses coming from different parts of the city. She also says the project would cause more environmental damage than it would solve.

"There's a huge amount of infrastructure that would have to be built to put the gondola in our neighborhoods. It would be hugely invasive," she said. "They would have to cut down over 80 trees at L.A. State Historic Park."

Supporters say the gondola system would become an iconic L.A. landmark and attract tourists who would want to ride it year round. While Grannis said people with Dodger tickets would ride free on game days, Los Angeles residents without Dodger tickets would be charged $2 round trip. Fares for everyone else have not been determined, but

Grannis said they would be substantially higher to help pay for the project.