Title VI Complaint Policy and Procedures & Limited English Proficiency Plan Notification
Title VI Policy
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states: “No person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority (RTA) respects civil rights and operates its programs and services without regard to race, color or national origin. RTA is committed to complying with the Title VI requirements in all of its programs and services. For more information on the Title VI transit obligations, contact RTA as listed below.
Póliza del Título VI
Derechos Civiles del Acta de estados de 1964, ninguna persona en los Estados Unidos podrá ser excluida de participar en programas que reciben asistencia financiera Federal, o negar beneficios o ser sujetos a discriminación por causa de raza, color, o origen nacional.
El sistema de tránsito de San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority (RTA) respeta los derechos civiles y administra sus programas y servicios sin consideración a raza, color, o origen nacional. El sistema de tránsito de San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority (RTA) está comprometido a cumplir en todos sus programas con los requisitos del Título VI.
Para más información de las obligaciones de Tránsito del Título VI comuníquese con el sistema de tránsito de San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority (RTA) de acuerdo a la información siguiente.
Para Presenter una Queja del Título VI
Cualquier persona que cree que ha sido discriminada en el servicio de o acceso a los servicios de transportación pública a base de raza, color, o origen nacional, puede presentar una queja con el sistema de tránsito de San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority (RTA). Dicha queja puede ser presentada por escrito con RTA a no más tardar de 30 días después de la supuesta discriminación. Para mas información como presentar una queja, comuníquese con RTA a la información siguiente.
Procedure For Filing A Complaint
If you believe you have been discriminated against, or that there has been a violation of any laws or regulations, or if you have a problem regarding services received, you have the right to file a grievance.
When a complaint or grievance is filed, the following will happen:
- RTA/SCT staff will contact you to meet to resolve the situation.
- The meeting will be documented in writing and all parties will receive a copy of the meeting notes.
- If the issue is resolved, no further actions will be taken.
- If no resolution is apparent, a formal, written complaint may be filed with:
Title VI Coordinator Contact information:
Deputy Director/Chief Financial Officer
San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority
179 Cross Street, Suite A
San Luis Obispo, California 93401
Phone: (805) 781-4397
Fax: (805) 781-1291
firstname.lastname@example.org (Title VI Coordinator)
If you are interested in filing a complaint, please use the Title VI Complaint form. The San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority and South County Transit encourages all complainants to certify all mail that is sent through the U.S. Postal Service and/or ensure that all written correspondence can be tracked easily. For complaints originally submitted by facsimile, an original, signed copy of the complaint must be mailed to the Title VI Coordinator as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days from the alleged date of discrimination.
What happens to the complaint after it is submitted?
All complaints alleging discrimination based on race, color or national origin in a service or benefit provided by the RTA will be directly addressed by the RTA. The RTA shall also provide appropriate assistance to complainants, including those persons with disabilities, or who are limited in their ability to communicate in English. Additionally, the RTA shall make every effort to address all complaints in an expeditious and thorough manner.
- A letter of acknowledging receipt of complaint will be mailed within thirty (30) days (Appendix D). Please note that in responding to any requests for additional information, a complainant’s failure to provide the requested information may result in the administrative closure of the complaint.
- The RTA will advise the US Department of Transportation within thirty (30) days of receipt of the allegations. The following information will be included in the notification:
- Name, address and phone number of the complainant
- Names(s) and address(es) of the alleged discriminating official(s)
- Basis of the complaint (i.e. race, color or national origin)
- Date when the alleged discrimination took place
- Date when complaint was received by the RTA
- A statement of the complaint
- Other agencies (state, local or federal) where the complaint has been filed
- An explanation of the planned investigative process that the RTA plans to take to resolve the issue in the complaint
- Within forty-five (45) days of the receipt of the complaint, the Title VI Coordinator will conduct an investigation of the allegation and, based on the information obtained, will offer a recommendation for action in a report to the Executive Director. The complaint should be resolved in an informal way when possible and which will be recorded in the summarized report of the findings.
- Within sixty (60) days of the receipt of the complaint, the Title VI Coordinator will send a final written response letter (see Appendix E or F) to the complainant. In the letter notifying complainant that the complaint is not substantiated (Appendix F), the complainant is also advised of his or her right to 1) appeal within seven calendar days of receipt of the final written decision from the RTA, and/or 2) file a complaint externally with the U.S. Department of Transportation and/or the FTA. Every effort will be made to respond to Title VI complaints within sixty (60) working days of receipt of such complaints, if not sooner. A copy of the final written response will be provided to the US Department of Transportation.
If a resolution of the situation is not apparent in a reasonable time, the complaint or grievance may be forwarded to:
Federal Transit Administration Office of Civil Rights
Attention: Title VI Program Coordinator
East Building, 5th Floor – TCR
1200 New Jersey Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20590
Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Plan
This Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Plan has been prepared to address San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority and South County Transit’s responsibilities as a recipient of federal financial assistance as they relate to the needs of individuals with limited English language skills. The plan has been prepared in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Federal Transit Administration Circular 4702.1A dated May 13, 2007, which states that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.
Executive Order 13166, titled Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency, indicates that differing treatment based upon a person’s inability to speak, read, write or understand English is a type of national origin discrimination. It directs each federal agency to publish guidance for its respective recipients clarifying their obligation to ensure that such discrimination does not take place. This order applies to all state and local agencies which receive federal funds.
RTA/SCT has developed this LEP Plan to help identify reasonable steps for providing language assistance to persons with limited English proficiency who wish to access services provided by RTA/SCT. As defined in Executive Order 13166, LEP persons are those who do not speak English as their primary language and have limited ability to read, speak, write or understand English.
This plan outlines how to identify a person who may need language assistance, the ways in which assistance may be provided, staff training that may be required, and how to notify LEP persons that assistance is available.
In order to prepare this plan, RTA/SCT undertook the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) four-factor LEP analysis which considers the following factors:
- The number or proportion of LEP persons in the service area who may be served or are likely to encounter a RTA/SCT program, activity or service.
- The frequency with which LEP persons comes in contact with RTA/SCT programs, activities or services.
- The nature and importance of programs, activities or services provided by RTA/SCT to the LEP population.
- The resources available to RTA/SCT and overall cost to provide LEP assistance.
RTA assessed its available resources that could be used for providing LEP assistance, including determining how much a professional interpreter and translation service would cost on an as needed basis, which of its documents would be the most valuable to be translated if the need should arise, and taking an inventory of available organizations that RTA/SCT could partner with for outreach and translation efforts. The amount of staff and vehicle operating training that might be needed was also considered.
Based on the four-factor analysis, RTA/SCT developed its LEP Plan as outlined in the following section.
Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Plan Outline
How RTA/SCT and staff may identify an LEP person who needs language assistance:
- Examine records to see if requests for language assistance have been received in the past, either at meetings or over the phone, to determine whether language assistance might be needed at future events or meetings.
- Have a staff person greet participants as they arrive at RTA/SCT sponsored events. By informally engaging participants in conversation it is possible to gauge each attendee’s ability to speak and understand English.
- Have Census Bureau Language Identification Flashcards available at RTA/SCT meetings.
This will assist RTA in identifying language assistance needs for future events and meetings.
- Have Census Bureau Language Identification Flashcards on all transit vehicles to assist vehicle operators in identifying specific language assistance needs of passengers. If such individuals are encountered, vehicle operators will be instructed to try to obtain contact information to give to RTA’s management for follow-up.
- Vehicle operators and other front-line staff, like dispatchers, dial-a-ride schedulers, and service development planners, will be surveyed annually on their experience concerning any contacts with LEP persons during the previous year.
Language Assistance Measures
There are numerous language assistance measures available to LEP persons, including both oral and written language services. There are also various ways in which RTA / SCT staff responds to LEP persons, whether in person, by telephone or in writing.
- RTA/SCT will provide Hispanic Education and Outreach Programs which will continue to provide vital information to LEP groups on RTA/SCT programs and services.
- Network with local human service organizations that provide services to LEP individuals and seek opportunities to provide information on RTA/SCT programs and services.
- Provide a bilingual Community Outreach Coordinator at community events, public hearings and Board of Director meetings. Placement of statements in notices and publications that interpreter services are available for these meetings, with 48 hours advance notice per Brown Act.
- Survey bus drivers and other front-line staff, like dispatchers, dial-a-ride schedulers, and service development planners, annually on their experience concerning any contacts with LEP persons during the previous year.
The following training will be provided to RTA/SCT staff:
- Information on the RTA/SCT Title VI Procedures and LEP responsibilities.
- Description of language assistance services offered to the public.
- Use of Language Identification Flashcards.
- Documentation of language assistance requests.
- How to handle a potential Title VI/LEP complaint.
When staff prepares a document or schedules a meeting, for which the target audience is expected to include LEP individuals, then documents, meeting notices, flyers, and agendas will be printed in an alternative language based on the known LEP population. Interpreters may be available as needed.
Monitoring and Updating the LEP Plan
RTA/SCT will update the LEP as required by U.S. DOT. At minimum, the plan will be reviewed and updated when data from the 2010 U.S. Census is available, or when it is clear that higher concentrations of LEP individuals are present in the RTA/SCT service area. Updates will include the following:
- The number of documented LEP person contacts encountered annually.
- How the needs of LEP persons have been addressed.
- Determination of the current LEP population in the service area.
- Determination as to whether the need for translation services has changed.
- Determine whether local language assistance programs have been effective and sufficient to meet the need.
- Determine whether RTA’s financial resources are sufficient to fund language assistance resources needed.
Dissemination of the RTA/SCT LEP Plan
A link to the RTA LEP Plan and the Title VI Procedures is included on the RTA/SCT website at www.slorta.org
Any person or agency with internet access will be able to access and download the plan from the RTA website. Alternatively, any person or agency may request a copy of the plan via telephone, fax, mail, or in person and shall be provided a copy of the plan at no cost. LEP individuals may request copies of the plan in translation which RTA/SCT will provide, if feasible.
Questions or comments regarding the LEP Plan may be submitted to the San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority, Title VI Coordinator:
San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority
179 Cross Street, Suite A
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
email@example.com (Title VI Coordinator)