LAX People Mover gets $200 million more to resolve claims between contractor and airport

An additional $200 million will go to the Los Angeles International Airport’s Automated People Mover project after approval by the Board of Airport Commissioners on Thursday.

The money will be used to settle claims submitted by the contractor, LAX Integrated Express Solutions (LINXS), and bring the project’s total budget to $2.9 billion.

The People Mover is a major part of the airport’s multibillion-dollar plan to overhaul terminals and gates, update airport signage to help travelers navigate the sprawling airport and improve ground transportation ahead of the 2026 World Cup and the 2028 Summer Olympics.

Read more: LAX's long-promised rail link, the People Mover, likely delayed until late 2025

The project was initially expected to be open in 2024, but disagreements between LINXS and the airport over the production, timeline and compensation claims have led to delays. The project is now expected to be completed by late 2025.

"Recent discussions have turned toward negotiating a potential global settlement for all outstanding ... claims and an appropriate extension of time to complete the project," the board report stated.

The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the funding and said that clarity on that completion date is necessary.

“The LINXS partnership has been told very clearly that the most important thing for LAWA and our community is knowing when this project is going to be done,” said John Ackerman, CEO of Los Angeles World Airports.

The issue has been discussed in closed session during multiple board meetings, according to meeting minutes. Ackerman said LAWA has changed its approach and believes LINXS has also done so in order to "come to a fair settlement that allows us to deliver the train that this community really deserves."

The project is more than 95% completed, according to Fitch Ratings. Once finished, the 2.25-mile elevated train will offer access to and from airport terminals, parking lots and rental car facilities and will connect to the Metro train system to the airport. Airport officials believe the People Mover will eliminate 117,000 vehicle miles per day.

Experts have said the train will improve the flow of traffic at the world’s fifth-busiest airport and will enhance access for those who rely on public transit.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.