SOURCE: Los Angeles World Airports

March 15, 2007 15:11 ET

Union Station FlyAway to LAX Observes First Anniversary After Successfully Servicing 250,000 Travelers and Reducing Congestion

Free Rides for Public Transit Users and Annual Pass Prizes Will Mark Anniversary

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 15, 2007 -- Los Angeles World Airports' (LAWA) non-stop FlyAway bus service ridership from Union Station to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) exceeded more than 250,000 passengers in its first year of service -- more than triple the original projections. City officials lauded the service for its contributions to reducing traffic congestion and vehicle emissions by providing a public transportation solution to getting increasing numbers of travelers from downtown to out-of-town without their private vehicles.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa said, "In its first year of service, the Union Station FlyAway removed more than a hundred thousand personal vehicles off the roads between downtown and LAX so Los Angeles could keep moving by getting people out of their cars.

"The FlyAway is a critical regional link to LAX for passengers traveling to Union Station via Metro Red and Gold Lines, Metrolink and Amtrak trains, DASH, Metro and various municipal bus operators. It's also a vital transportation link for the nearly 60,000 commuters working in and around the airport," he said. "By travelers using high-occupancy vehicles to get to their destinations, the entire city benefits from reduced traffic congestion and better air quality."

LAWA Acting Executive Director Samson Mengistu announced today, "We are thanking our passengers for their support by allowing riders presenting tickets or passes from public transit operators, including taxi receipts, to ride the Union Station FlyAway free from March 15 to 31."

LAWA is kicking off the anniversary celebration on the morning of March 15 by awarding annual passes for unlimited free rides on the FlyAway to 10 randomly selected passengers when they come to the Union Station FlyAway ticket kiosk. The passes are also good for free rides on Metro buses and rail lines. LAWA will also place a FlyAway bus with commemorative graphics into service at 7:30 a.m. The Commemorative Edition FlyAway Bus will serve as a moving billboard encouraging ridership of the service. LAWA's Rideshare commuter program is sponsoring the annual pass giveaway and advertising.

The Union Station FlyAway bus service is part of the LAWA ground transportation initiatives to expand its FlyAway bus system to improve passenger convenience, and to reduce traffic congestion and vehicle emissions by encouraging high-occupancy vehicle ridership.

According to Roger Johnson, LAWA deputy executive director of Environmental Services, the Union Station FlyAway saved its passengers from driving a combined total of five million vehicle miles, saving over 225,000 gallons of gasoline and over $2.8 million in one-way drive-alone costs for those motorists.

The FlyAway improved air quality in the Los Angeles basin by reducing potential vehicle emission pollutants by over 231,000 pounds of carbon monoxide, and 4.6 million pounds of total dioxide annually.

Given the success of this second FlyAway bus line, LAWA plans to add seven more locations around Southern California to the FlyAway system by 2015, with the next one beginning operation later this year at a location to be determined.

The Union Station FlyAway averages 685 passengers daily. The annual total of 250,000 passengers is more than three times the number predicted at the onset of service. Carpool lanes on the freeways enable the buses to complete many trips from downtown to the airport in 30-40 minutes, shorter than the average 45 minutes initially predicted earlier.

The FlyAway operates from the Berth 9 bus stop at Patsaouras Transit Plaza, located on the east side of Union Station at Gateway Center and is accessed by car from Vignes Street. The buses depart to LAX every half hour between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m., and every hour from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.

The Union Station FlyAway fare is $3 one-way for adults, $2 for children ages 2-12, and children under age 2 ride free. FlyAway also offers a remote airline check-in, which allows passengers to check up to two pieces of luggage for a flight and receive an airline boarding pass for selected airlines. The airline check-in service is $5 per passenger.

FlyAway passengers travel in comfort in these air-conditioned buses equipped with arm rests and reclining seats. Disabled passengers can also ride the FlyAway buses, which are all Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant and feature wheelchair lifts.

The first FlyAway bus service was launched from Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley in 1975. Since then, the Van Nuys FlyAway bus has served over 18 million riders and saved 396 million vehicle miles traveled in the region. FlyAway terminal at Van Nuys Airport has a park-and-ride facility with over 2,000 covered parking spaces.

Further information on the FlyAway bus routes from Union Station Transit Plaza and Van Nuys Airport is available by calling 1-866-I FLY LAX (1-866-435-9529), or visiting www.lawa.org/lawaGT.cfm.

Contact Information

  • CONTACT:
    Treva Miller
    (310) 646-5260