Taking Off: Hertz Rental Car outpost that will be consolidated into a future facility near LAX.

Taking Off: Hertz Rental Car outpost that will be consolidated into a future facility near LAX. Photo by Ringo Chiu.

The LAWA board also issued a request for qualifications last month for contractors to build the consolidated rental facility. Once qualified contractors are short-listed, the formal bidding process will begin.

Two intermodal transportation stations for buses and shuttles are also planned.

All of this would be linked up by an automated people mover, capable of whisking passengers from the central terminal area to the rental facility within 10 minutes.

The LAWA board last year issued a request for qualifications for this piece of the access plan, then narrowed down the list of qualified bidders to five teams, one of which includes L.A. engineering and construction contracting giant Aecom.

Before work can begin on the consolidated car rental facility and the people mover, LAWA must certify a final environmental impact report, expected this year.

High hotel hopes

All of these improvements have been eagerly awaited by hotels and other businesses around the airport.

“As things stand now, it takes so long for people to get out of the central terminal area that my hotel members see very angry customers by the time they show up at their doors,” said Laurie Hughes, executive director of the Gateway to LA Business Improvement District. “Getting people in and out of the central terminal area and getting our customers in and out in an efficient manner is therefore a top priority, and we hope this will help.”

Hughes said the consolidated car rental facility will reduce congestion on Century Boulevard and other streets within the BID and will free up several major car rental parcels for development.

“We desperately need more commercial/retail/lifestyle centers,” she said. “So my members are eagerly awaiting what will come next once these car rental operations move to the consolidated facility.”

One of the few concerns Hughes said her hotel members have is the conversion of 98th Street into a through corridor to the consolidated rental facility. Currently, hotels use that street for loading dock operations; some of those might have to be relocated.

Meanwhile, rental car companies are also eagerly anticipating the consolidated facility.

“Consolidated car rental centers generally have proven to be a great benefit for us and our customers,” Anna Bootenhoff, spokeswoman for Hertz Corp. of Estero, Fla., said in an email. “They give travelers greater access to and from airport terminals, ease the congestion inside and outside the terminal and reduce vehicle emissions, while providing a one-stop shop for customers. Additionally, the design often allows us to provide better and quicker customer service through increased efficiencies to our operations.”

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