The city’s new rapid transit system will be a light rail transit line, but that could mean a lot of different things.

Selecting the right train involves many different variables. Should it be pow­ered by overhead or underground wires? Would high-capacity cars making fewer trips be better than low-capacity cars that would arrive more frequently?

There is also the question of operating the trains. Should they have conductors or be automated through a central system?

“It’s like going to a car dealership. There are many different kinds and models to choose from,” said Bay Ward Coun. Alex Cullen, chair of the city’s transit committee. “If you look around North America and Europe, you’ll see that electric rail comes in different shapes, sizes and has different cost implications.”

Tomorrow, city staff will report to the transit committee on the preferred technology for the rapid transit network.

Residents will be able to learn more about that choice, the design for the Downtown Ottawa Transit Tunnel and the first phase of the rapid transit plan at an open house at city hall on Oct. 26.