Complaint (Non Discrimination Policy) Title VI

Introduction

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance.

Snoqualmie Valley Transportation (herein referred to as SVT) is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of its transit services on the basis of race, color, or national origin, as protected by Title VI in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Circular 4702.1.A

TITLE VI COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

SVT is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of its transportation services on the basis of race, color, or national origin, as protected by Title VI in Federal Transit Administration  (FTA) Circular 4702.1.A   If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination  under Title VI, you may file a complaint.

How to file a Title VI Complaint?

You may file a signed, written complaint up to one hundred and eighty (180) days from the date of alleged discrimination.   The complaint should include the following information:

  • Your name, mailing address, and how to contact you (i.e., telephone number, email address, etc.)
  • How, when, where and why you believe you were discriminated against. Include the location,
  • names and contact information of any witnesses.
  • Other information that you deem significant

A form is available at SVT which may be completed for this purpose.  (Attachment B)

The complaint may be filed in writing with SVT at the following address:

Snoqualmie Valley Transportation

Title VI Coordinator

411 Main Ave S

North Bend, WA 98045

By phone: 425-888-7001

By Fax: 425-888-3837

NOTE:     Snoqualmie Valley Transportation (SVT) 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  180  days  from  the  alleged  date  of discrimination.

What happens to my complaint after it is submitted to SVT?

All complaints alleging discrimination based on race, color or national origin in a service or benefit provided by SVT will be directly addressed by SVT.   SVT shall also provide appropriate assistance to complainants, including those persons with disabilities, or who are limited in their ability to communicate in English. Additionally, SVT shall make every effort to address all complaints in an expeditious and thorough manner.

In instances where additional information is needed for investigation of the complaint, SVT will contact the complainant in writing. 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.

Once  sufficient  information  for  investigating  the  complaint  is received  by  Link  Transit,  a written response will be drafted subject to review by the transit’s attorney.    If appropriate, SVT’s attorney may administratively   close the complaint.  In this case, SVT will notify the complainant of the action as soon as possible.

How will I be notified of the outcome of my complaint?

SVT will send a final written response to the complainant and advise the complainant of his or her right to 1) appeal within 7 calendar days of receipt of the final written decision from SVT, and/or 2) file a complaint externally with the U.S. Department of Transportation and/or the Federal Transit Administration.   Every effort will be made to respond to Title VI complaints within 60 working days of receipt of such complaints, if not sooner.

In addition to the complaint process described above, a complainant may file a Title VI complaint with the following offices:

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

 

RECORD OF TITLE VI OR OTHER CIVIL RIGHTS INVESTIGATIONS,

COMPLAINTS OR LAWSUITS

To date, there have been no Title VI investigations, complaints or lawsuits.

LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY (LEP) PLAN

SVT is committed to breaking down language barriers by implementing consistent standards of language assistance across its service area.

Census.  The United States is home to millions of national origin minority individuals who are Limited English Proficiency (LEP). That is, their primary language is not English and they cannot speak, read, write or understand the English language at a level that permits them to interact effectively with recipients of Federal financial assistance.   Because of language differences and the inability to effectively speak or understand English, persons with LEP may be subject to exclusion from programs or activities, experience delays or denials of services.  These individuals may be entitled to language assistance with respect to a particular type of service.  The federal government and those receiving assistance from the federal government must take reasonable steps to ensure that LEP persons have meaningful access to the programs, services, and information those entities provide. This will require agencies to establish creative solutions to address the needs of this ever-growing population of individuals, for whom English is not their primary language.  While the census in the SVT service area does not give us language data since each of the cities of North Bend, Snoqualmie, Fall City, Carnation and Duvall are under 20,000, data collected from the Snoqualmie Valley and Riverview School Districts, English is spoken by 98% of the households in the SVT service area. Overwhelmingly, Spanish is the language spoken by non-English speaking households and represents approximately 1% of the non-English speaking in the service area.

ANALYSIS OF FACTORS

Factor No. 1:  The number or proportion of LEP persons in the service area.

SVT’s jurisdiction covers two main areas:  The lower Valley and the Upper Valley, both of which are largely English-speaking. The vast majority of the population with whom we do business (individuals wishing to ride transit) is proficient in English, so that LEP services are not usually required.  No information was available regarding the percentage of bilingual residents of the service area.  According to data collected from the Snoqualmie Valley and Riverview School Districts, English is spoken by approximately 98% of the households in the SVT service area. Overwhelmingly, Spanish is the language spoken by non-English speaking households and represents less than 2% of the non-English speaking in the service area.

Factor No. 2.  The frequency with which LEP individuals come into contact with the service.

All contacts with SVT are made through its offices located in North Bend, WA.  We serve LEP persons via our demand response services. The SVT call takers/dispatchers receive a call from a non-English speaker approximately once every four months and those calls generally come in through a translator at the local early learning center, Encompass.  Staff members may also use the Language Line services. This allows call takers and dispatchers to call a number in a 3-way call and conference with a professional interpreter from more than 65 languages.

Factor No. 3:  The nature and importance of service provided by SVT.

SVT  provides  important  transit  services  to  the  senior, disabled, low income and general public  through  its demand response services. Connections are made to medical, services, recreation, and other destinations in this rural service area to people who cannot or choose not to drive. SVT also connects individuals to the King County Metro transit fixed route services that will take riders to destinations outside of the Snoqualmie Valley. For many individuals, SVT is their only form of transportation.

Factor No. 4.  The resources available to the recipient of the federal funds to assure meaningful access to the service by LEP persons.

SVT’s staff members mostly speak English.  Language Line services are available for riders who require translation. SVT also recognizes the need to have language services in other languages besides Spanish and has implemented a Language Line service to address that need.  SVT shall print publications in both English and Spanish.  Special notices of public meetings and other events shall be made available in Spanish.  Our website will also have documents and contact information available in Spanish. In 2013, we will spend approximately $400 on translation services.  We estimate we will spend $650 in 2011 for “Language Line” services.

IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

SVT currently has implemented its plan and will review it annually, including any contacts with the LEP persons to determine the frequency of contacts, the language used, and how the contacts were handled.  We are in the process of identifying LEP persons in the service area by outreach to riders, telephone contact counts, community networks, the city government organizations, churches, and local fairs. Dispatchers and call takers are trained on how to use the “Language Line”.  Brochures to riders shall contain instructions for accessing SVT’s services geared to Spanish speaking riders. SVT’s Title VI policy and a Complaint Form are available on our website.  Beginning in 2013, all printed maps and schedules contain Title VI language.  Additionally, both in house staff and drivers are trained on how the Title VI plan works so that they are consistent in their application. If there is a service or rate change, we run notices in the newspaper in Spanish and in English.  We also have flyers on the bus which are printed as the information changes (not at any particular time but rather as service or fare information changes or when we run out of flyers.  In order to comply with 49 CFR 21.9(d), SVT must provide information to beneficiaries regarding their Title VI obligations and inform beneficiaries of the protections against discrimination afforded them by Title VI.  SVT has established a statement of rights and a policy statement.

NOTIFYING BENEFICIARIES OF THEIR RIGHTS UNDER TITLE VI

 

  1. 1. Our website includes our Title VI policy and complaint form. The website also states:

SVT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color or national origin.

SVT no descrimina en base de raza, color o origen nacional.

  1. 2. Our Title VI policy and complaint form are also posted at our Operations and Maintenance Facility (located at 411 Main Avenue South, North Bend, WA 98045). Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may request a complaint form from our Director, our Dispatcher, our call Takers or from the Executive Director of the Mt. Si Senior Center (located at the same address).

ANALYSIS OF CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

Over  the  last  three  years  SVT  has not completed  a construction  project  requiring  an environmental assessment  (EA) or environmental impact statement  (EIS).

INCLUSIVE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Community Outreach is a requirement of Title VI.   Recipients and sub-recipients shall seek out and consider the viewpoints of minority and low-income populations in the course of conducting public outreach.   Recipients have wide latitude to determine what specific measures are most appropriate and should make this determination based on the composition of the affected population, the public involvement process, and the resources of SVT.

Snoqualmie Valley Transportation is doing community outreach through job fairs, farmers markets, businesses, business organizations, the faith-based organizations in the Snoqualmie Valley, the two school districts (Riverview SD and Snoqualmie Valley SD), as well as the local newspapers (Snoqualmie Valley Record and the Snoqualmie Star), community networks, social media, transportation coalitions and other organizations.

 

ATTACHMENT A

Snoqualmie Valley Transportation

Title VI Non-Discrimination Policy Statement

Snoqualmie Valley Transportation is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or is subject to discrimination in the receipt of its services or programs on the basis of race, color or national origin or any other characteristics protected by law, including Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. Further, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, no entity shall discriminate against an individual with a physical or mental disability in connection with the provision of transportation service.

To obtain more information on Snoqualmie Valley Transportation’s nondiscrimination obligations or to file a Title VI complaint, contact Link Transit’s Title VI Coordinator by mail at:

Title VI Coordinator – PO Box 806 – North Bend WA 98045

Or in person at:

Mt. Si Senior Center – 411 Main Ave. S. – North Bend, WA 98045

Email: amycbiggs@comcast.net

By phone: 425-888-7001

By Fax: 425-888-3837

You may file a written complaint no later than 180 days after the date of the alleged discrimination.

Amy Biggs

Director

 

ATTACHMENT B         

TITLE VI COMPLAINT FORM

click here for downloadable complaint form

Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act requires that “No person in the United States shall, on the ground 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.” If you feel you have been discriminated against in transit services, please provide the following information in order to assist us in processing your complaint and sent it to:

Snoqualmie Valley Transportation

Title VI Coordinator

411 Main Ave S

North Bend, WA 98045

By phone: 425-888-7001

By Fax: 425-888-3837

 

ATTACHMENT C

TITLE VI NOTIFICATION OF COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

What is Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? 

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance.

SVT is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of its transit services on the basis of race, color, or national origin, as protected by Title VI in Federal Transit Administration  (FTA) Circular 4702.1.A   If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination  under Title VI, you may file a complaint.

How to file a Title VI Complaint?

You may file a signed, written complaint up to one hundred and eighty (180) days from the date of alleged discrimination.   The complaint should include the following information:

  • Your name, mailing address, and how to contact you (i.e., telephone number, email address, etc.)
  • How, when, where and why you believe you were discriminated against. Include the location, names and contact information of any witnesses.
  • Other information that you deem significant

The complaint may be filed in writing with SVT at the following address:

SVT, Title VI Coordinator

411 Main Ave. S. North Bend, WA 98045

Or, by mail to:

PO Box 806 North Bend, WA 98045

By phone:

425-888-7001

By Fax: 425-888-3837

NOTE:     SVT 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  180  days  from  the  alleged  date  of discrimination.   Please use this address to request additional information about Title VI.

What happens to my complaint after it is submitted to SVT?

All complaints alleging discrimination based on race, color or national origin in a service or benefit provided by SVT will be directly addressed by SVT.   SVT shall also provide appropriate assistance to complainants, including those persons with disabilities, or who are limited in their ability to communicate in English.    Additionally, SVT shall make every effort to address all complaints in an expeditious and thorough manner.

In instances where additional information is needed for investigation of the complaint, SVT will contact the complainant in writing.  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.

Once  sufficient  information  for  investigating  the  complaint  is received  by  SVT,  a written response will be drafted subject to review by the transit’s attorney.    If appropriate, SVT’s attorney may administratively   close the complaint. In this case, SVT will notify the complainant of the action as soon as possible.

How will I be notified of the outcome of my complaint?

SVT will send a final written response to the complainant and advise the complainant of his or her right to 1) appeal within 7 calendar days of receipt of the final written decision from SVT, and/or 2) file a complaint externally with the U.S. Department of Transportation and/or the Federal Transit Administration.   Every effort will be made to respond to Title VI complaints within 60 working days of receipt of such complaints, if not sooner.

In addition to the complaint process described above, a complainant may file a Title VI complaint with the following offices:

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