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Training videos one more way FTA helps ensure transit passengers' civil rights

Training videos one more way FTA helps ensure transit passengers' civil rights

Last month, here in the Fast Lane readers had the rare opportunity to celebrate the 50-year anniversaries of two different legislative landmarks: the Civil Rights Act on July 2 and the Urban Mass Transportation Act on July 9. Together, these milestones transformed the way Americans freely moved about their communities.

The one-two punch of explicit civil rights protections and federal support for public transit ensured that everyone would have equal access to a city or region's transit service. And today --whether it's bus, light rail, subway, streetcar, ferry boat, or any other form of public shared transportation-- our Federal Transit Administration (FTA) plays a key role in preventing discrimination and increasing access to transit services.

Photo of level boarding ADA access on transit vehicle

FTA's Office of Civil Rights has provided outstanding leadership on this front by --among other activities-- monitoring compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act; setting standards for transit agencies’ equal employment opportunity programs; and helping level the playing field so disadvantaged business enterprises have a fair opportunity to compete on federally funded transit projects.

The office has taken its effort to the next level with a set of Civil Rights training videos for transit agencies and other recipients of FTA assistance. And earlier this summer, FTA completed its second series of videos in this set, focused on Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which protects people from discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.

Photo of the FTA's Dorval Carter recording a civil rights training video
The FTA's Dorval Carter in the studio to record a civil rights training video.

Among other topics, this latest series provides guidance on general Title VI program requirements for FTA recipients as well as on conducting equity analyses to determine whether service or fare changes --either increases or decreases-- will result in a disparate impact on Title VI-protected populations. The Title VI series, along with the first civil rights training video series on Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, can be found on FTA's Civil Rights Video Training Series webpage.

These videos are just the latest initiative in FTA's efforts to ensure civil rights protection for everyone who uses our nation's public transportation systems. Fifty years after a monumental 1964, the everyday hard work of protecting Americans' civil rights continues unabated here at DOT.

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