Good leadership and a plan for steady, incremental change can make it go in the direction Lrfox describes. Which doesn't make it likely, but it makes it possible.
If you are a wise leader, you don't announce a grand plan to spend billions specifically to connect Nubian with the core via light rail in a "big monumental project." You announce a plan to convert the entire SL system eventually over many years, spending a little at a time to gradually extend the LR network, and maintain busses in the mean time. Transit system improvement should be an expected, continuous, and always ongoing effort. What you describe happens when there's a dearth of improvements over half a century, followed by a gazillion dollar expansion, followed by a dearth of improvements (rinse, repeat). If it is always ongoing, all the time, throughout the system, then opportunism necessarily is tempered.