While the routes, locations and plans proposed by American Monorail are based on independent study and strategic design criteria, the monorail system proposed to connect the City of Santa Monica to the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, is presented as an alternative to the planned 12 mile subway extension, at roughly one tenth of the subway’s projected construction cost. With the subway extension’s phased building and operational completion projected for 2032, the American Monorail proposed connection could be completed within three years of groundbreaking. The proposed route and construction of a continuous monorail guideway between downtown Los Angeles and the City of Santa Monica would take place within street rights of way of the cities of Los Angeles and Santa Monica, respectively; passing over freeways in three locations.
The route of the Santa Monica to Downtown Los Angeles Monorail begins downtown at a terminal station on the east side of the Union Station bus terminal, adjacent to the MTA headquarters complex and central nexus of LA rail and subway systems. Immediately crossing over the Hollywood Freeway, the two-directional monorail guideway would extend south of the freeway before turning west into the center of Temple Street, passing above the Gold Line tracks and overhead electrical wires, continuing along Temple to a station located between City Hall East and the Downtown LA Mall, before continuing up to the Los Angeles Music Center, with a station on Hill Street, adjacent to the Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Disney Concert Hall and Department of Water and Power headquarters. This station would be located a few hundred feet from the focal point of the proposed Grand Avenue Mall, and could enhance access, as well as, provide 21st century modernity to the mall’s atmosphere. Alternatively, a station could be located at the intersection of Temple Street and Grand Avenue, at the north end of the Grand Avenue Mall, to become an integral part of the Mall’s design.
From either Music Center station location, the monorail guideway would continue south, along Hope Street, jogging smoothly onto Flower and Third streets before turning south onto Figueroa, and a station at the Bonnaventure Hotel. The monorail would continue to a Figueroa station between 6th and 7th streets, adjacent to a planned $1 billion hotel development and adjacent entrance to the Red and Blue Line subway station, before continuing to the Staples and Nokia centers and LA Live complex of hotels, theaters, restaurants and entertainment venues.
Crossing south of Olympic Boulevard, the monorail guideway would move to the west side of Figueroa Street to an area between the Staples and Nokia centers, spanning the street and area between with station and access platforms connected to the upper stories of each venue and the adjacent LA Live complex, Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels and multiplex theater. Continuing southward before turning west onto Pico Boulevard, the monorail would pass over (or through) the Convention Center enclosed bridge structure to a station location immediately west of the structure, with upper-and street-level access to the Convention Center and adjacent parking facilities.
Proceeding west in the center median of Pico Boulevard, the guideway would pass above the Harbor Freeway to a station at Pico Boulevard and Western Avenue, at the southern gateway to Koreatown. Continuing along the center median of Pico Boulevard, the monorail would proceed to stations at Midtown Plaza, near San Vicente Boulevard, then at Fairfax and Avenue of the Stars (adjacent to Fox Studios, three blocks from Century City). These Pico Boulevard stations are located at heavily traveled, often congested, major street and bus route intersections, that will not be impeded or further congested by the monorail guideway or station structures passing above and clear of all vehicle traffic.
The final three Pico stations would be located at Westwood Boulevard, adjacent and connected to the Westside Pavilion, Sepulveda Boulevard (at the crossing of the proposed LAX-Palmdale monorail line), and Santa Monica College, before continuing in the Pico center median to a loop through the City of Santa Monica, completing a continuous commercial and commuter travel corridor between the dense, destination-rich commercial, entertainment, hotel, cultural and workplace venues of downtown and convention center Los Angeles, and the world famous recreation, tourism, travel and commercial center the City of Santa Monica. Monorail stations proposed in locations at the Santa Monica Civic Center, Third Street Promenade and the Santa Monica Pier provide access to a wide variety of visitors, patrons, tourists and recreational travelers attracted to the beachside city.
Providing commuter access to a large number of work places, commercial venues and residential communities throughout its route, the LA to Santa Monica monorail would provide access and exposure to a wide variety of business, recreational, entertainment and travel opportunities. The approximately twenty mile route of the monorail would directly link some of the most attractive cultural, tourist, recreation, convention and entertainment venues in Southern California with urban marketplaces, business and commercial centers along its entire path. Beyond the rush hour concentrations of travel along the Pico Boulevard monorail, travel to and from Santa Monica’s recreation, entertainment, tourism, restaurant and shopping venues would shift and extend the hours and days of intense use of the monorail system.
Unlike the interests of airport or harbor authorities, or large suburban cities, the many and varied business entities that would fill the rosters of the Santa Monica, West LA and Downtown Los Angeles chambers of commerce, hotel and restaurant associations, theater and arts councils, as well as, convention, travel, tourism and entertainment industries, would have vested interests in an attractive and efficient monorail system which could bring thousands of passengers into their neighborhoods and venues. Community banks and other financial institutions pooling commercial and recreation industry resources may combine assets and reserves with government agencies tasked with traffic congestion relief and mass transportation services to support development of a monorail system that serves and enhances the full spectrum of transportation objectives among these diverse interests.