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Monorail gets interest from 3 metro cities | News

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Monorail gets interest from 3 metro cities

BROOKHAVEN, GA -- Here's an unlikely public transit idea that's getting a measure of traction in three different cities now: it's monorail. And the city of Brookhaven is already committing tax money to it.

Last month, Sandy Springs officials decided to include monorail in a long-term planning study. Monday, a Chamblee city councilman confirmed his interest in it as well.

Brookhaven already has a MARTA rail line that links it to downtown Atlanta. But its surface streets are often choked with automobile traffic – fueled by more residents and more workers in popular new high-density developments.

"If you're going this way it's going to take you forever," said Brookhaven resident Victoria Shiman, pointing south on Peachtree Rd. The complaint has caught the ear of Joe Gebbia, a Brookhaven city councilman.

"We've got to look at ways that takes the rubber off the road," Gebbia said Monday.

"If it was something that was convenient to get out to retail or restaurants, we'd be interested in that," said Steve Snyder, a Brookhaven resident.

But it wouldn't be cheap. The one-and-a-half mile rail system opened in 2009 at Hartsfield-Jackson airport cost $642 million. A 12 mile system in Brookhaven would likely cost billions.

"It's all going to evolve around money. So we really just need to find out what are the facts, what is the potential, is it affordable, are there ways to fund it," Gebbia said.

Thomas Hogan, a city councilman in neighboring Chamblee, tells 11Alive News he is "optimistic his idea may have merit." He says Chamblee will be interested in seeing the results of Brookhaven's study -- with an eye on a potential partnership.