UPDATE 4/7: The President of American Maglev Technology, Tony Morris, was in Virginia Beach Monday and told 13News Now he thinks his rail technology is the right fit for the city.
'This isn't your grandfather's Maglev,' Morris said. 'We're confident it works and it's a third of the cost of light rail.'
Under his proposal to the city, a Maglev extension to the Oceanfront would cost $344 million, compared to the $1.3 billion price tag of a light rail extension.
Morris is so confident in Maglev, his company has agreed to build a pilot track from the Oceanfront to Birdneck Road.
City officials are still in the early stages of considering all proposals.
March 28, 2014
VIRGINIA BEACH---There is renewed interest in a rail destination in Virginia Beach and the city wants to consider all of it's options.
City council is asking Hampton Roads Transit to study an extension to Town Center.
During a Tuesday council meeting, Mayor Will Sessoms suggested it's more than just a cost-saving move.
'It gives us a lot of options to take on a different type of technology, perhaps,' Sessoms said.
That technology is familiar to Hampton Roads. The tracks you see hovering above the campus of Old Dominion University use Maglev, or Magnetic Levitation.
That project didn't work out, and there's concern that it's not a good fit for Virginia Beach either.
Riders would have to get off the Tide in Norfolk and board this new rail system in a completely separate train.
'Is that really what they want us to do?' asked Norfolk resident Casey Spellman.
Councilman Bob Dyer said Friday that it's just a preliminary move. He is aware Maglev is unproven technology, but council is concerned about keeping costs down.
'We want to make sure we're exploring all of our options the best we can,' Spellman said.