Next New FlyAway Route to LAX Will Serve Expo La Brea station

In 2004 Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) [the L.A. city department that operates LAX, Van Nuys and Ontario airports] as part of what is known as the LAX Master Plan Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program reached with opponents of LAX expansion agreed that by 2015 the FlyAway system will be expanded to nine routes. This is proving a challenging (and expensive) goal to work toward. Recently the Irvine route was discontinued due to low ridership (albeit a nonstop shuttle service is promised as an eventual replacement).

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The Irvine FlyAway cancellation was partly facilitated by the bankruptcy of Coach America, which was operating it. Coach also had the contract for the Westwood FlyAway which has like Irvine had disappointing ridership. The impending shutdown of Coach America provided LAWA an opportunity to put the Westwood service back out to bid in hopes a new operator might be able to bring down the cost of operating the service.

At the Sept. 17th meeting of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners a new three year agreement was awarded to Corinthian International Parking Services (agenda item #16) to operate the Westwood Flyaway and Exposition Light Rail line La Brea station Flyaway.

Expo what? After considering various options for Flyaway expansion routes LAWA has settled on having the next new one be an express bus service between Expo’s La Brea station and LAX.

The staff report notes “The La Brea Fly Away is expected to be located adjacent to the Metro Expo/La Brea Station in Los Angeles. Negotiations with Metro for use of the La Brea stop are underway. Subject to Board approval, La Brea Fly Away would commence as soon as practical after the commencement of the Agreement.”

By awarding to Corinthian the contract to operate the new Expo Flyaway in advance LAWA avoids the delay of undertaking a lengthy contract award process. But I have confirmed with LAWA staff that at this time it cannot be predicted how long it will take for an agreement between Metro and LAWA to be reached. And even then as the press release announcing the agreement with Corinthians notes the agreement will have to receive “approval by both boards” (i.e. Metro and LAWA). So it may be a while before service starts.

  • calwatch

    With 18 trips according to the staff report, the service is more a joke than a legitimate transit alternative. Basically that’s good enough for hourly service, while missing the early m

  • LAofAnaheim

    But does the 42 bus go INTO the LAX terminals? That’s the benefit of the Flyaway. If you want to see a Flyaway service done right, check out Union Station. Good connections to all local and regional rail and buses. Super convenient. I think the Westwood Flyaway should be moved to Hollywood/Highland for more effective service. Hollywood is a big destination for out-of-towners wanting to use public transportation to their hotel. UCLA should provide its own peak service like USC does to LAX.

  • Gregory

    Why would you take the FlyAway from Westwood for $10 when you can take Culver City bus 6 for $1?  The FlyAway bus takes 25 to 45 minutes and travels the 405 so you always need to assume it will take 45 minutes.  It also only leaves once per hour.  The CC 6 takes one hour and comes at least three times per hour.  So you have to pay ten times as much, can only leave once an hour, and save fifteen minutes.  It seems obvious why FlyAway Westwood doesn’t have many customers.

  • Gregory

    Where did my comment go?  It was there a minute ago.  At the top of the article it says 3 comments at the bottom it shows 2. 

    My comment questioned why anyone would use the Westwood FlyAway because it costs ten times as much and with less than a third of the frequency of the Culver City Bus 6 while only saving fifteen minutes of travel time.

  • Sometimes Disquis has a hiccup. Both your comments are there now.

  • Now there is an Easy way to get to Expo-Line from LAX and Otis School of design Take the BBB-to LAX and Take the Fly-Away to La-Brea Station this Will Be a Huge Help

  • Juan Matute

    Remember, the purpose of the Flyaway isn’t to make money, it’s to reduce vehicle trips to the airport.

  • Two other proposals I have heard that seem to merit consideration are John Wayne airport and Sepulveda Orange Line station.

  • Matt

    Usually, the Flyaway is pretty fast, because they can use the carpool lanes on the freeway.  Also, it picks up in the airport as opposed to Culver City Bus, which you would have to catch a shuttle to LAX Bus Center plus the Culver City Bus has to stop a bunch of times on busy city streets.  It is closer to an hour savings from these two factors alone – not sure where you get 15 minutes.  Flyaway is a good option compared to a taxi, especially if you time it well.

  • Anonymous

    LA Metro bus 102 runs from the “LAX Bus Center” (Parking Lot C) to USC and Expo.  Indeed, it was faster than my train along Expo between Crenshaw and Exposition Park the other day. 

  • Anonymous

    LAWA’s first priority is to maximize parking revenues.  So FlyAway cannot cut into that pot’o’gold too much.

  • Anonymous

    Still no FlyAway to ONT.  Pathetic.

  • calwatch

    No, the purpose of the Flyaway is to meet LAWA’s legal requirements regarding the settlement of the mitigation program for LAX expansion. If they don’t run Flyaway then they have to cap the number of passengers. It’s mentioned in this document – – that it must be similar to that in Van Nuys, which means at least two trips an hour. Union Station is close enough, but Irvine and now Expo are not keeping with the spirit of the settlement. If the plaintiffs wanted to push it they could prevent further LAX expansion.

  • calwatch

    When calculating average time it is a wash.
    Flyaway: 30 min avg wait + 45 min travel time = 75 min
    Culver City 6: 10 min avg wait + 60 minute travel time + 15 min travel time due to transferring at Lot C = 85 min

    Remember that you are just as likely not to time your flight by the Flyaway connection, and get stuck waiting an hour due to the infrequent service. MTA calculates average wait time by dividing headway by half, which is reasonable.

  • There should be one at Hollywood/Highland.

  • Kymberleigh Richards

    A nitpick, if I may:  There is no Line 42 anymore.  It was replaced in June by an extension of Line 102 between Expo/Western Station and LAX City Bus Center.

  • Neal

    One more vote for Hollywood & Highland. To me it’s a no-brainer with all the tourists and locals headed to/from LAX.