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Mayor says Sandy Springs monorail is "not unserious" | News

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Mayor says Sandy Springs monorail is "not unserious"

ATLANTA -- The mayor of Sandy Springs says the city is "not unserious" about studying a monorail as part of a plan to expand transportation. And he thinks taxpayers may be willing to swallow the cost -- which is part of the reason for the mayor's ambivalence.

If they build a monorail in Sandy Springs, odds are pretty good it would look a little like the elevated train that connects Hartsfield Jackson Airport with the convention center west of the airport. And it would cost a pile of money.

It's not a monorail but it's the newest elevated train in town. It spans a modest one and a half miles. In 2009, it cost an immodest $642 million to build—a cost comparable to the new Braves stadium in Cobb County.

When asked if the monorail pitch was serious, Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul laughed. "Well, we're not unserious. We're looking at all options," he answered.

The Sandy Springs monorail could be two or three times as long as the Hartsfield Jackson Sky Train – likely pushing its cost well beyond a billion dollars.

But Paul says it's a legitimate idea in a fast-growing suburb that needs to find transportation options that don't depend on automobiles – and roads that are already overcrowded.

"We have to figure out how to move large numbers of people efficiently in ways that they're willing to accept to areas where they need to go and right now we don't have that" Paul said. "If you're not willing to look at some out of the box type thinking, you're not going to be able to do that."