Metro Chastised for Poor Civil Rights Practices
Update: Bus Riders Union issues statement on the release of civil rights compliance review. More after the jump.
In October, L.A. Weekly reported that local civil rights groups indicted Metro for discriminatory practices. The groups hoped their report would spark the feds to intervene. Well, as it turns out, it did.
The Federal Transit Administration released its civil rights compliance review of Metro today. The result -- bad news for Metro.
According to Metro's blog The Source, "the review found that Metro did not fully follow federal regulations and guidance when the agency made service and fare changes."
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In other words, the Bus Riders Union was right to question Metro's practices.
Bus Riders Union lead organizer Esperanza Martinez told the Weekly in October that "the rail does not serve the a large sector of Los Angeles' native community and that Metro does not place black, brown, and working class people at the center."
Update: Bus Riders Union organizer Sunyoung Yang issued a statement calling the review "the most serious compliance review findings issued in at least a decade."
Here is some more from the statement:
According to Richard Marcantonio, a senior attorney at the civil rights law firm Public Advocates Inc. and a national expert on civil rights enforcement, these findings are a landmark for transit civil rights. "FTA's findings are a damning indictment of a transit agency that was under a federal civil rights Consent Decree for 10 years. The strongest compliance findings we had seen from FTA previously were last year against BART. The BART findings sent shock waves across the country. This is BART times ten."
And an excerpt from the federal civil rights review:
The FTA audit of Metro was not an investigation to determine the merit of any specific discrimination complaints filed against Metro. However, it did find deficiencies with the methodologies and processes that Metro uses to assess impacts of fare and service changes on minorities and low-income people.
Metro has already responded to its punishment by creating a civil rights corrective action plan, which they posted within their blog post today.
Funny how Metro already had a 47-page document ready on the day the results were released, but at least they are owning up to their mistakes.
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