The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board of directors agreed last Thursday to explore the construction of a rail line that would carry passengers directly to the planned NFL stadium that will house the Rams and possibly one other team in Inglewood.
The proposed line, dubbed the “South Bay Transit Corridor Rail Project,” would stretch from the under-construction Crenshaw/LAX Line in Inglewood south to Torrance. An exact alignment still needs to be determined, but it would likely travel along Prairie Avenue in Inglewood, taking it directly to the Rams stadium site.
The Metro board voted unanimously to conduct a feasibility study of the line, which has already been under review by the South Bay Council of Governments.
The Rams will begin playing this fall at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum while a new stadium is built at the former Hollywood Park racetrack site in Inglewood. That facility is expected to be ready in time for the 2019 National Football League season.
The new stadium will house the Rams, and potentially either the Chargers or Raiders.
The board also voted to create a “Metro Line to Goal Line” task force to explore transit-related issues associated with the return of the NFL to the Southland.
A Metro board staff report notes that the Coliseum is adjacent to the Metro Expo Line’s USC station. The under-construction Crenshaw/LAX Line, which will connect the Expo Line with the Green Line near LAX, is expected to open in 2019 and include a downtown Inglewood station that “will be located within a few minutes’ walk from the new stadium,” according to the report.
The Crenshaw/LAX Line’s Inglewood station will be located near Florence and La Brea avenues, roughly 1.5 miles from the stadium site. The proposed South Bay line would originate at that station, move southeast to the stadium site, then south to Torrance, providing a rail link to the stadium for residents of Gardena, Hawthorne, Lawndale and Torrance.
“Ensuring the success of this highly anticipated regional asset will require strategic action and a concerted partnership with Metro, as facilitating the transport of tens of thousands of spectators for games and other events will require significant synergy with our growing transportation system,” according to the board report.
“There are numerous opportunities for Metro to proactively, efficiently and cost-effectively facilitate the transport of spectators in harmony with surrounding communities.”
Among the issues the task force will examine are:
— so-called “first/last mile” options to connect transit users to the Inglewood stadium;
— developing a marketing strategy to promote the use of public transit to the games;
— ensuring sufficient capacity on Expo Line trains for crowds using the route to reach games at the Coliseum and at the Inglewood stadium in 2019;
— working with Metrolink to develop a rail strategy for people across the region to use trains to reach the stadiums; and
— exploring joint-development opportunities in surrounding areas.