A key problem is that the City can’t decide what exactly they want this line to do. Continuing the Ottawa tradition of being penny-wise and pound-foolish, the planners have decided instead to have this line try to do everything, and of course have wound up getting it wrong.
Is this line intended primarily to bring Kanata commuters downtown as quickly as possible? Then why not try to locate stops so as to foster the growth of new employment centres on the way, reducing travel distances for many commuters?
A similar logic could apply to Barrhaven commuters except that in the long term it makes no sense to carry them down two sides of a triangle when the third side offers a direct route downtown, alongside the Via Rail tracks. The City should be starting talking with Via now for a long term solution to commuting from Barrhaven. As with the cancelled O-train extension to Barrhaven, once again the City is pursuing the wrong route to Barrhaven.
If the line is intended primarily to form the backbone of an effective transportation system, then it only makes sense to route it as close as possible to existing high density nodes and in areas where it could reasonably be expected to promote growth not only of residential buildings but also commercial and office development.
All too often, the Ottawa attitude is that it doesn’t matter where you locate something, because people will use it anyway, regardless. So build it as cheaply as possible. But in fact, this is how white elephants are born.