The past and present light-rail projects are driven by political and budget ideas rather than a real vision for the future.
Look at London, Moscow, Paris and Montreal and they all have a metro or underground. The only realistic plan that can handle future growth in all directions is a real underground railway system that starts with a straight line, loop or circle and expands from there with arterial or circle lines.
The initial cost appears impossible, but not when you add in the value of the real estate that it creates, the value of time saved, the value of a higher quality of living and the ability of the system to continue to expand.
A largely underground rail system is one of the few ways in which Canada can reduce emissions and take a large percentage of commuters off the roads, especially at peak hour.
Our planners need to use some imagination and use resources such as the experts who design the upgrades to the metro systems in other parts of the world.
You only have to visit Montreal, Moscow, London or Paris to envisage how Ottawa could have such a system. Yes the cost may seem impossible, but not when considering federal funding with a goal of making realistic reductions in emission.