Civil Rights Reviews
Contact: Office of Civil Rights 202-366-4018
The Federal Transit Administration Office of Civil Rights is responsible for ensuring that FTA grantees comply with all requirements pertaining to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program, and the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) program.
Title VI Reviews
Title VI prohibits discrimination by recipients of federal financial assistance on the basis of race, color, and national origin, including the denial of meaningful access for limited English proficient (LEP) persons. The FTA Office of Civil Rights reviews recipients of FTA funding to determine their compliance with Title VI, the DOT implementing regulations at 49 CFR Part 21, and the Title VI program-specific guidance in FTA’s Title VI Circular 4702.1. This includes a review of the grantee’s service standards and policies, public outreach efforts, process for conducting service and fare equity analyses, and LEP and other efforts.
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Reviews
The DBE program seeks to ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of federally assisted contracts and to create a level playing field on which DBEs can compete fairly for contracts. The FTA Office of Civil Rights reviews recipients of FTA funding to determine their compliance with DOT’s DBE regulations at 49 CFR Part 26. This includes, for example, examining the sufficiency of the grantee’s DBE program plan, goal methodology, certification procedures, and oversight of contracts.
Equal Employment Opportunity Reviews
FTA grantees are required to have EEO programs in place to prevent discrimination against their employees or applicants for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, disability, age or national origin. The FTA Office of Civil Rights reviews recipients of FTA funding to determine their compliance with related Federal Transit Laws at 49 USC 5332(b) and FTA’s EEO Circular 4704.1. This includes assessing a grantee’s employment practices and policies, designation of EEO responsibilities, employment statistics and workforce analyses, and monitoring of EEO efforts.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. FTA is responsible for ensuring that providers of public transportation are in compliance with the DOT regulations implementing the transportation provisions of the ADA (49 CFR Parts 27, 37, 38, and 39). This includes conducting periodic compliance reviews of FTA grantees in the areas of fixed-route bus service, rail stations, and complementary paratransit.
Rail Station Reviews
The FTA Office of Civil Rights conducts reviews of rail stations that have been newly constructed, stations that have undergone renovations or alterations, and existing stations that were designated as “key” stations using criteria and processes required under DOT ADA regulations. The purpose is to ensure that the stations (or the altered elements) are compliant with DOT standards for accessibility under the ADA, and that key stations have been or are being modified as required by the established deadlines.
Fixed-Route Bus Reviews
The FTA Office of Civil Rights reviews fixed-route transit bus service to ensure that stops are being announced as required and that lifts and ramps are maintained in operating condition and deployed in service for passengers with disabilities. This includes a review of policies and procedures for announcing stops; examining maintenance procedures and records to determine whether they are sufficient to ensure that lifts and ramps are maintained in working order and that buses with inoperable lifts are not put into service; and direct on-site observations of in-service practices.
Under DOT ADA regulations, public operators of fixed-route service are requires to provide complementary paratransit to persons whose disabilities prevent the use of the fixed-route system that provides a comparable level of service. The FTA Office of Civil Rights conducts reviews of the paratransit operations of its grantees to determine whether they are in compliance with the service and eligibility criteria established under DOT ADA regulations and are free of prohibited capacity constraints