With some fanfare Friday, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new Bob Hope Airport-Hollywood Way Metrolink Station, which, if all goes according to plan, will be ready in 2015 to deliver passengers to the airport from the Santa Clarita, Antelope and North San Fernando valleys. Nearly $4 million in Measure R funds will pay for the new station.
This transit facility is only one piece of the puzzle that must be assembled in order to provide rail connections for all travelers — Southland residents as well as the tourists who are so key to the economic vitality of the region. More than 41 million souls visited the Los Angeles area in 2012, but a disappointingly low percentage of them traveled through the Bob Hope Airport.
For so many years a welcoming beacon for travelers, the local airport has seen a disheartening and costly slide in the number of passengers it serves annually. It didn't help that American Airlines left the facility and that JetBlue Corp. ceased daytime flights there. There are other factors, too, not the least of which has been the state of the economy since 2007.