Elliptic wave extrapolation operators require significantly less computational cost than the ones for transversely isotropic (TI) media. However, it does not provide accurate wavefield representation or imaging for the prevalent TI media. We propose a new vertical elliptically anisotropic (VEA) wave equation by decomposing the acoustic TI pseudo-differential wave equation. The decomposition results in a vertical elliptic differential equation and a scalar operator. The new VEA-like wave equation shares the same dispersion relation as that of the original acoustic TI wave equation. Therefore, the kinematic contents are correctly matched to the original equation. Moreover, the proposed decomposition yields better amplitude properties than the isotropic decomposition without increasing the computational load. Therefore, it exhibits better cost versus accuracy tradeoff compared to the isotropic or the tilted elliptic decompositions. We demonstrate with numerical examples that the proposed methodology is numerically stable for complex models and is free from shear-wave artifacts.