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MTA looks to direct football traffic to trains


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board of directors Thursday will consider forming a task force to investigate ways of improving transit links to the planned NFL stadium in Inglewood and encouraging football fans to take mass transit when the Rams begin playing in the Southland.

The Rams will begin playing this fall at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum while a new stadium is built at the former Hollywood Park racetrack site in Inglewood. That facility is expected to be ready for the 2019 National Football League season.

The new stadium will house the Rams, and potentially either the Chargers or Raiders.

A Metro board staff report notes that the Coliseum is adjacent to the Metro Expo Line’s USC station. The under-construction Crenshaw/LAX Line, which will connect the Expo Line with the Green Line near LAX, is expected to open in 2019 and include a downtown Inglewood station that “will be located within a few minutes’ walk from the new stadium,” according to the report.

“Ensuring the success of this highly anticipated regional asset will require strategic action and a concerted partnership with Metro, because “facilitating the transport of tens of thousands of spectators for games and other events will require significant synergy with our growing transportation system,” according to the board report.

“There are numerous opportunities for Metro to proactively, efficiently and cost-effectively facilitate the transport of spectators in harmony with surrounding communities.”

The proposal calls for the creation of a “Metro Line to Goal Line” taskforce to explore transit-related issues associated with the return of the NFL. Among the issues the taskforce would examine are:

— so-called “first/last mile” options to connect transit users to the Inglewood stadium;

—developing a marketing strategy to promote the use of public transit to the games;

— ensuring sufficient capacity on Expo Line trains for crowds using the route to reach games at the Coliseum and at the Inglewood stadium in 2019;

— working to Metrolink to develop a rail strategy for people across the region to use trains to reach the stadiums; and

— exploring joint-development opportunities in surrounding areas.

The Crenshaw/LAX Line’s Inglewood station will be located near Florence and La Brea avenues, roughly 1.5 miles from the stadium site.