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Climate Resolve launches new nonprofit focused on zero emission transit and Dodger Stadium aerial gondola to be first project

Leading environmental nonprofit, Climate Resolve, announced that it has formed Zero Emissions Transit, a new subsidiary nonprofit organization focused on advancing emissions-free public transit solutions in the Los Angeles region. Through a framework agreement, Los Angeles Aerial Rapid Transit’s (LA ART) proposed zero-emission aerial gondola connection between Union Station and Dodger Stadium will be donated to Zero Emissions Transit as its inaugural project.

Climate Resolve is a leader in the fight against climate change and helps communities most disadvantaged by climate change impacts. Climate Resolve organized California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment and has developed on-the-ground climate resilience projects in Pacoima, Boyle Heights, Compton, and several other communities across the state. Zero Emissions Transit, with LA ART as its inaugural project, will be the latest in Climate Resolve’s ongoing efforts to reduce emissions and create a cleaner and greener Los Angeles region where everyone can thrive.

Also announced today, baseball fans will be able to ride the gondola for free with a Dodger game ticket. Similar to the current Dodger Stadium Express bus program, this benefit will help to maximize the air quality benefits from replacing automobile trips with the aerial gondola. As part of the framework agreement the gondola project commits to additional initiatives such as improving pedestrian amenities to encourage transit use in the communities adjacent to the proposed aerial gondola route from Union Station to Dodger Stadium. The LA ART project has also committed to nonprofit development and operation.

Starting today, Dodger fans are invited to visit a new full-sized gondola cabin exhibit that will be on display at Dodger Stadium for the rest of the season. Visitors will be able to experience what it’s like to ride inside an aerial gondola and learn more about the project and Zero Emissions Transit.

“There is an urgent need for innovative transit solutions to alleviate air pollution and fight climate change,” said Jonathan Parfrey, Executive Director of Climate Resolve. “That’s why we’re thrilled to serve as the catalyst in creating Zero Emissions Transit. The aerial gondola project is the first of what we hope to be many more zero-emission innovations.”

Suja Lowenthal, City Manager of Hermosa Beach and Climate Resolve board member, will serve as chair of the Board of Directors for Zero Emissions Transit. Also serving on the board is Dr. Felix Aguilar M.D., Chief Medical Officer with the Chinatown Service Center Community Health Center. Additional board members will be announced in the coming weeks.

The gondola project was announced in 2018, and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is the lead agency for its environmental review process. Since then, the project team has spoken to thousands of households and met with dozens of community organizations, transportation and environmental advocacy groups who support this sustainable urban transit solution. Close to 6,000 have signed up in support of the project. In response to stakeholder input, the project scope has expanded to include elements that increase the mobility, accessibility, and environmental benefits of the aerial gondola, including an additional passenger station, pedestrian connections, and improvements to LA State Historic Park.

“Los Angeles needs and deserves more clean, sustainable transit options,” said Jordan Lang, President of Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies. “We’ve invested a significant amount of time and capital into this project because we believe it is the right solution for the region and are committed to supporting this nonprofit effort. With Climate Resolve and Zero Emissions Transit as partners, we are one step closer to making zero-emission aerial transit in Los Angeles a reality.”

The zero-emission aerial gondola would provide the first permanent transit connection to Dodger Stadium since it was built nearly 60 years ago. Rather than sitting in traffic, fans will enjoy a scenic ride from downtown to Dodger Stadium in just seven minutes.

“We commend Zero Emissions Transit for its commitment to environmental sustainability and support any project that benefits the fans and our community. The gondola will help reduce traffic around Dodger Stadium, cut down on emissions, and enhance the fan experience,” said Stan Kasten, the Dodgers’ President and CEO.

The system could take up to 3,000 cars off the road before and after each Dodger game and event at the Stadium, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing pedestrian safety. The gondola will also provide local benefits outside of game-time periods, including a “Community Access Program” that would allow residents and employees of businesses close to the project to ride the gondola for an LA Metro fare, at no additional cost. The gondola will operate year-round to provide community access to transit and transit access to parks, in addition to serving visitors and creating the transit link to Dodger Stadium.

“Living in downtown Los Angeles, I worry about the impact that cars and traffic have on my health and quality of life,” said Inez Gomez, resident of William Mead Homes. “The LA ART project just makes sense. It would have a dramatic impact on game day traffic in the neighborhood. Saving time and frustration for fans and neighbors, and improving safety in our community.”

More than 340 business in Chinatown, El Pueblo, and Lincoln Heights have signed up to support the project. “Chinatown is home to many unique and diverse small businesses that were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Icy Zheng, owner of Eighty Eight Hair Salon. “We are glad to be welcoming visitors back after a difficult few years and are excited to work with LA ART to find ways to encourage Dodger fans to visit Chinatown before taking the gondola to a baseball game.”

Metro issued the Notice of Preparation for the EIR in October 2020 which began the public environmental review process. The Draft EIR is expected to be released in Fall 2022.

For more information about the project visit www.laart.la.
For more information about Climate Resolve visit www.climateresolve.org.

This article was released by Climate Resolve.