As young adults and a few of us being seasoned commuters, we have had plenty of discussions on the future of transit in Ontario since OLIP began. With our passion for transit, we were excited to meet Fausto Natarelli. Mr. Natarelli has 30 years of public service experience leading infrastructure and transit projects across Ontario.
As Mr. Natarelli went through his professional journey, one project that caught our attention was the Detroit River International Crossing Initiative, a project that was vital because it sustains 25% of trade which crosses the border between Canada and the United States. As Mr. Natarelli went through the complicated planning and intricate details, we came to understand the complexity of implementing a large scale multi-billion dollar transportation project. Since some of us were interested in public-private partnerships, we began to have a conversation on the viability of the model to deliver public infrastructure.
Mr. Natarelli also went through the communications aspect of delivering these massive infrastructure projects. As you can imagine, transit is a fiercely debated topic in Ontario and with every new highway, or light rail transit, or a GO station, public opinion fixates on the project. Mr. Natarelli spoke to the importance of being able to accommodate and engage different groups when delivering any public project.
Before leaving us, Mr. Natarelli mentioned that there will be a time in our careers where everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Based on a story he told us, Mr. Natarelli stressed the importance of having poise under incredible stress or difficult situations because it will allow you to best handle the situation.
Thank you to Mr. Natarelli for meeting with us and having a conversation about all things transit within Ontario!