Notifying the Public of Rights Under Title VI

The City of Arlington operates its programs and services without regard to race, color, or national origin in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Any person who believes they have been discriminated against under Title VI may file a complaint with the City of Arlington.

For more information on the City of Arlington’s civil rights program, and the procedures to file a complaint, contact Gilbert Perales, Deputy City Manager, Phone: 817-459-6100; email: Gilbert.Perales@arlingtontx.gov ; or visit our administrative office at 1101 W. Main St. Arlington, TX 76013. For more information, visit www.handitran.com

A complainant may file a complaint directly with the Federal Transit Administration by filing a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, Attention: Title VI Program Coordinator, East Building, 5th Floor-TCR, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20590.

If information is needed in another language, contact the Handitran office at 817-459-5390.

TO FILE A COMPLAINT PLEASE USE THIS FORM:
TITLE VI COMPLAINT FORM

Public Participation Plan

The purpose of this Public Participation Plan (PPP) is to establish procedures that allow for, encourage, and monitor participation of all citizens in the City of Arlington – Handitran service area, including but not limited to low income and minority individuals, and those with limited English proficiency. While traditional means of soliciting public involvement may not reach such individuals, or might not allow for meaningful avenues of input, the intent of this effort is to take reasonable actions throughout the planning process to provide opportunities for historically under-served populations to participate. This plan is meant to address the public at large, not necessarily just those who are or could be certified to ride Handitran.

This document will lay out procedures to provide opportunities for all area citizens to participate in the development of the Public Participation Plan for the City of Arlington – Handitran. The PPP is a short-range plan (roughly 5 years) which analyzes all aspects of special transit operations. Where appropriate, recommendations are made to improve these aspects of special transit operations.

A notice will be posted in the local newspaper, noting the existence of this public participation plan and a copy of the public participation plan will be sent, at a minimum, to the stakeholders, and posted on the Handitran website.

Goals and Objectives for the Public Participation Plan

Goal: The goal of the PPP is to offer real opportunities for the engagement of all citizens of the City of Arlington - Handitran service area to participate in the development of a Transit Development Plan (TDP) whether English-speaking or non-English speaking.

Objectives:

  • To determine what non-English languages and other cultural barriers exist to public participation within the City of Arlington.

  • To provide a general notification of meetings, particularly forums for public input, in a manner that is understandable to all populations in the area.

  • To hold meetings in locations which are accessible and reasonably welcoming to all area residents, including, but not limited to, low-income and minority members of the public.

  • To provide avenues for two-way flow of information and input from populations which are not likely to attend meetings.

  • To provide a framework of actions appropriate to various types of plans and programs, as well as amendments or alterations to any such plan or program.

  • To use various illustrative visualization techniques to convey the information including but not limited to charts, graphs, photos, maps and the internet.

Title VI Information,

Limited English Proficient (LEP) information and Complaint Process

The City of Arlington – Handitran grants all qualified people equal access to our special transportation services.  It is further the intent of the City of Arlington - Handitran all qualified people are aware of their right to such access. This is designed to serve as an education tool for citizens so that they may understand one of the civil rights laws that protect their benefit of the City of Arlington’s programs and services, specifically, as it relates to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

What is Title VI?

Title VI is a section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requiring that ‘No person in the United States shall on the grounds of race, color or nation 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.”  Note that Title VI does not address gender discrimination.  It only covers race, color, and nation origin.  Other Civil Rights laws prohibit gender discrimination.

What is LEP?

As part of Title VI requirements, the City of Arlington – Handitran has developed a Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Plan to help identify reasonable steps to provide language assistance for LEP persons seeking meaningful access to the City of Arlington – Handitran services as required by Executive Order 13166 “Improving Access to Services for Persons With Limited English Proficiency,” reprinted at 65 FR 50121 (August 16, 2000).  A limited English Proficiency person is one who does not speak English as their primary language and who has a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English.

The City of Arlington – Handitran’s Complaint and Investigation Procedures

These procedures cover all complaints filed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for alleged discrimination in any program or activity administered by the City of Arlington – Handitran.

These procedures do not deny the right of the complainant to file formal complaints with other State or Federal agencies or to seek private counsel for complaints alleging discrimination.  Every effort will be made to obtain early resolution of complaints at the lowest level possible. The option of informal mediation meeting(s) between the affected parties and the City of Arlington – Handitran may be utilized for resolution.  Any individual, group or individuals or entity that believes they have been subjected to discrimination prohibited under Title VI and related statutes may file a complaint.

The following measures will be taken to resolve Title VI complaints:

  1. A formal complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days of the alleged occurrence.Complaints shall be in writing and signed by the individual or their representative, and will include the complainant’s name, address and telephone number; name of alleged discriminating official, basis of complaint (race, color, or national origin) and the date of alleged act(s).A statement detailing the facts and circumstances of the alleged discrimination must accompany all complaints. The City of Arlington strongly encourages the use of the attached complaint form when filing official complaints. Complaints must be submitted to:

    Gilbert Perales

    City of Arlington

    City Manager’s Office
    101 West Abram Street, 3rd Floor
    Phone: 817-459-6100

     

  2. In the case where a complainant is unable or incapable of providing a written statement, a verbal complaint of discrimination may be made to the Deputy City Manager, by calling the phone number listed above. Under these circumstances, the complainant will be interviewed, and the City of Arlington will assist the Complainant in converting the verbal allegations to writing.

     

  3. When a complaint is received, the Deputy City Manager will provide written acknowledgment to the Complainant, within ten (10) calendar days by registered mail.

     

  4. If a complaint is deemed incomplete, additional information will be requested, and the Complainant will be provided 60 calendar days to submit the required information. Failure to do so may be considered good cause for a determination of no investigative merit.

     

  5. Within 15 calendar days from receipt of a complete complaint, the City of Arlington will determine its jurisdiction in pursuing the matter and whether the complaint has sufficient merit to warrant investigation. Within five (5) calendar days of this decision, the Deputy City Manager or their authorized designee will notify the Complainant and Respondent, by registered mail, informing them of the disposition.

     

    1. If the decision is not to investigate the complaint, the notification shall specifically state the reason for the decision.

    2. If the complaint is to be investigated, the notification shall state the grounds of the City of Arlington’s jurisdiction, while informing the parties that their full cooperation will be required in gathering additional information and assisting the investigator.

       

  6. Should the City of Arlington - Handitran not have jurisdiction, the complaint will be referred to the appropriate State or Federal agency holding such jurisdiction.

     

  7. If the complaint has investigative merit, the City of Arlington City Council will instruct the Deputy City Manager to fully investigate the complaint. A complete investigation will be conducted, and an investigative report will be submitted to the City Council within 60 calendar days from receipt of the complaint. The report will include a narrative description of the incident, summaries of all persons interviewed, and a finding with recommendations and conciliatory measures where appropriate. If the investigation is delayed for any reason, the Deputy City Manager will notify the appropriate authorities, and an extension will be requested.

     

  8. The Deputy City Manager or their authorized designee will issue letters of finding to the Complainant and Respondent within 90 calendar days from receipt of the complaint.

     

  9. If the Complainant is dissatisfied with the City of Arlington’s resolution of the complaint, they have the right to file a complaint with the:

 

                              Federal Transit Administration Region 6

                              Attn: Civil Rights Officer

                              819 Taylor Street, Room 14A02

                              Fort Worth, TX 76102

                              Phone: 817-978-0550

                              Fax:     817-978-0575

FTA Complaint procedures can also be found on the FTA web site at: www.fta.dot.gov.  These procedures are also outlined in FTA Circular 4702.1B, Chapter IX.

Identification of Stakeholders

Stakeholders are those who are either directly, or indirectly, affected by a plan, or the recommendations of that plan. Those who may be adversely affected, or who may be denied benefit of a plan's recommendation(s), are of particular interest in the identification of specific stakeholders. Stakeholders are broken down into several groups: Disabled citizens, Senior Citizens, minority persons, public agencies, and private organizations and businesses.

General Citizens: There are 365,438 residents in the City of Arlington, TX (U.S. Census, 2010).   50 percent of the population of the urbanized area consider themselves to be solely of a white race.  Some of the techniques that can be used to engage the general population are public notices of meetings in the local newspaper, open house format public information meetings. While these techniques will continue, staff will make a greater effort to engage the general public, possibly with techniques such as, nominal group exercises, surveys, use of local news media, etc.

Minorities: Minority populations make up a smaller percentage of the population in the City of Arlington area. Hispanics make up the largest minority, with nearly 27.4 percent of the total population of the urbanized area.  Black, Asian and persons who consider themselves to be of more than one race account for the remaining population.

Engaging minority, and low-English proficiency populations can be challenging. Language and cultural differences may not be compatible with the more traditional means of engaging the public in the planning process. The City of Arlington – Handitran staff will make reasonable efforts to engage minority populations using techniques, such as including notations in public notices in appropriate non-English languages that will provide a contact where the individual can be informed of the process/project, and will have the opportunity to give input. Focus groups may also be established for the purpose of gaining input from a particular defined portion of the community. Also, advocacy groups can be a good resource for contacts and dissemination of information to minority and low-English proficiency populations. Such advocacy groups or agencies can have insight into the needs of the under-represented populations, as well as providing valuable contacts or arenas for input. Contacts with local translators should also be maintained and used as requested and needed.

Public Agencies: Public agencies can provide valuable input to the planning process, in addition to assisting in gaining participation from traditionally under-represented populations.  Pertinent public agencies include those that have clients who fall into under-represented populations, including but not limited to minorities, low-income, and limited English proficiency households. These agencies have great insight into the transportation needs of their clients and are useful partners in overcoming difficult barriers that may not be understood by professionals dealing more distinctly with the provision of transportation services.

Private Organizations and Businesses:  Private organizations and businesses offer several perspectives that are valuable to the planning process. Often, transportation for employees is of critical concern to private sector employers. For that reason, representation of private business interests will be welcomed in the planning process.

  • City of Arlington Handitran Stakeholder Groups:
  • Special Transit Advisory Board
  • Aging and Disability Resource Center
  • Lighthouse for the Blind
  • Easter Seals North Texas
  • Department of Assistive Rehabilitative Services (DARS)
  • MHMR of Tarrant County
  • Senior Citizen Services of Greater Tarrant County
  • TRIP Steering Committee
  • Arlington Independent School District- Special Education Program/Graduating Students
  • Special Connections
  • Arlington Charities


Public Participation Plan

This document, upon its adoption, is to serve as the PPP for the City of Arlington - Handitran. Availability of the policy for review will be advertised in a manner reasonably expected to reach the general public, as well as minority populations, and other traditionally under-served populations. This could occur through contacts mentioned earlier in this document, notification of contacts available in English, Spanish, and other languages, in addition to traditional public notices in local newspapers. Public involvement is important at all stages of plan development. Opportunities for participation for both users and non-users of the City of Arlington- Handitran transportation system will be available. A notice will be posted in the local newspaper. People can also obtain information about the process from or submit input to the City of Arlington – Handitran office.

City of Arlington-Handitran

1101 W. Main St.

Arlington, TX 76013

Phone: (817) 459-5390

Contact: Bob Johnson, Transit Manager - bob.johnson@arlingtontx.gov

 

If materials are requested in another language other than English, large type and/or Braille Handitran staff will make a reasonable attempt to accommodate those needs. Other techniques could also be determined to be useful at any stage of the process, and new and different techniques will be utilized as deemed appropriate.

Outreach Efforts

In addition to the outreach efforts identified earlier in this policy, staff will use the following techniques during its planning studies, as deemed appropriate by City of Arlington – Handitran staff.

 

  • Presentations to professional, citizen, and student organizations.

  • Articles in community newsletters.

  • Press releases and meetings with local media representatives.

  • Informal conversations with individuals and small groups.

  • Interviews with people who are or could be affected by study recommendations.

  • Presentations by experts on various transit-related subjects.

  • User and non-user surveys.

  • Use various illustrative visualization techniques to convey the information including but not limited to charts, graphs, photos, maps and the internet.

Other techniques will be examined to determine the best methods of involving all segments of the service area population in the planning process.

Availability of Planning Documents: Hard copies of documents, upon completion, will be available at the City of Arlington - Handitran Office at 1101 W. Main St.  Electronic versions of the documents will be available on the City of Arlington – Handitran’s website, http://www.handitran.com

Methods of Addressing Comments:  Comments will be documented, presented to decision making bodies, modified in the contents of the document as necessary, and will be included in the appendices of planning products after they are approved and published. Comments received after studies and other planning products are completed and approved will be documented and referenced when amending or updating the planning products in the future.

Responses to information requests and comments:  Information can be requested from staff in person and by phone, fax, e-mail, and U.S. mail.