In a stunning turn of events city council has finalized the decision to proceed with Phase A of the plan to bring light rail to Ottawa. The prospect of any light rail plan being brought before council, let alone passing, was thought to be impossible due to a seemingly endless parade of "guaranteed" paths to light rail collapse under dismal mismanagement. It was until recently considered political suicide to even bring up the topic because of the tangible pain Ottawa residents feel, under the weight of a history of light rail project disasters, writing off any proposal as doomed to fail.
There have been a variety of reasons for the failure of light rail projects over the years; including parliament catching on fire, cost, and name-calling. At one point, an underground station collapsed, while construction was halted before structural supports could be put in place, because council was debating on the name for the length of term. The mayor was crushed in the process, in the tunnel hosting a media conference to finally announce the name. During one plan, construction was nearing completion when work was abandoned because everyone involved thought the project would be cancelled due to trepidation and so why bother continuing.
During the media live stream / AMA (ask me anything), bloggers asked about the wisdom of proceeding with light rail when many other municipalities are considering conversion of their light rail systems to sling tube systems. Council urged patience, saying that they need to implement their undelivered promises of light rail before they start failing on their promises of delivering a sling tube system. Mark Dossier-Portofeuille, councilor for Strollerville, reminded everyone about sling tube systems that, "There are still many unknowns in terms of cost and smell." The committee put it into perspective by saying, "This isn't about delivering what people want. It's about delivering what we promised."