Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended ("Title VI"), prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs, activities and services receiving federal financial assistance. Guidelines relating to Title VI require that recipients of federal financial assistance take responsible steps to ensure meaningful access to the benefits, services, information, and other important portions of their programs and activities for Limited English Proficient ("LEP") persons.
The MTA and its affiliated and subsidiary agencies ("MTA Agencies") provide meaningful access to their transportation services to LEP persons, who include those individuals whose primary language is not English and who have a limited ability to read, write, speak or understand English. LEP persons are those who reported to the U.S. Census that they do not speak English well or do not speak English at all.
Among the factors to be considered in determining what constitutes reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access are: (1) the number or proportion of LEP persons in the MTA Agencies' service area; (2) the frequency with which LEP individuals come into contact with the MTA Agencies' programs, activities or services; (3) the importance of the programs, activities, and services provided by the MTA Agencies; and (4) the resources available to the MTA Agencies and associated costs.
It is important to ensure that vital documents are translated into the non-English language of each frequently encountered LEP group affected by the programs, activities and services provided by the MTA Agencies. The MTA translates information on service changes, fares, safety/security notices, schedules, maps, emergency evacuation procedures, and construction projects into Spanish or into other languages directly impacted by its programs, services, or activities.
Oral communications between the MTA Agencies and their beneficiaries often are an integral part in the exchange of information. Thus, the MTA Agencies have identified and, in most cases, provide competent, qualified, and skilled language assistance services free of cost to LEP persons.
On an annual basis, the MTA Agencies review their LEP Plans to determine` whether they meet the language needs of their most current LEP population. These Plans are designed to be flexible. The MTA Agencies also provide notice to the LEP population of the right of individuals to file a Title VI or LEP discrimination complaint. Any person who believes that they have been: (1) excluded from participation in, (2) denied the benefits of, or (3) subjected to discrimination in the receipt of services on the basis of race, color or national origin should submit a signed, written complaint to the MTA Agencies within 180 days of the date of the alleged discrimination. To request more information about Title VI or to submit a written complaint of discrimination to the MTA Agencies, such persons may contact:
Michael J. Garner, Chief Diversity OfficerMTA Department of Diversity/Civil Rights
2 Broadway, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10004
If you have any suggestions, questions or comments regarding MTA's LEP Plan, please direct them to Mr. Garner at the above address.