Commentary by Paul Dyson, RailPAC President, and member, Burbank Transportation Commission.
The facility would provide “moving walkway” link with the Amtrak/Metrolink station.
The Burbank Glendale Pasadena Airport JPA has put forward an ambitious plan to improve public transit connections at the Burbank Bob Hope Airport. The airport already has the closest rail access of any in Southern California and is better than the vast majority of facilities in the United States. Nevertheless little has been done until now to improve the station, provide adequate parking for rail passengers, or ease transfer between the modes. The airport does provide on demand shuttle buses to and from the station and also the bus stops on Hollywood Way and for the physically fit the walk to and from the terminals is no more than to and from the kerb at many larger airports. However, the proposed moving walkway will make the rail or bus interchange far more attractive to passengers.
The airport is applying for federal funds in two tranches, one to build the transit center and station improvements, (estimated at $15 million), and the second to grade separate the Vanowen/Clybourne/Empire interchange (estimated at $30 million). The airport authority will put up 20% of the funds. In addition to improving safety the grade separation will improve traffic flow, including Metro and Burbank buses to and from the West Valley and the Orange and Red lines at North Hollywood.
Assuming that this highly commendable project is funded we’ll need to ensure that the airport station finally enjoys adequate train service. The current Metrolink schedule, with gaps up to three hours and no evening or weekend service, is completely inadequate for airport passengers. RailPAC has long advocated expansion of the Chatsworth to Laguna Niguel corridor, with double track from Van Nuys to Chatsworth and the LAUS run through tracks. This will give us the infrastructure for a regular interval Regional Express to serve this airport and the mobility needs of large sections of Los Angeles and Orange counties.
Please e-mail Dianne Feinstein’s office to show your support.
Paul Dyson, President
24 February, 2009