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9/30/2009



Rail News: Passenger Rail

FTA blesses Houston METRO's civil rights compliance program


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The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently approved the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas’ Title VI program, moving METRO another step toward obtaining Full Funding Grant Agreements for the build out of Houston’s light-rail system.

The FTA’s Office of Civil Rights determined that the agency’s program is complete and in compliance with Title VI requirements, which prohibit discrimination based on race and national origin for federal funding programs. Transit agencies are required to submit a Title VI program to the FTA every three years.

Compliance is necessary to apply for the FTA’s New Starts program. METRO is seeking New Starts funds to help finance the North and Southeast light-rail projects.

“Among many actions taken, Houston METRO has developed a limited English proficiency program, and analyzed service and fare changes to ensure reductions would not be disproportionately borne by predominantly minority communities,” wrote Cheryl Hershey, director of the FTA’s civil rights office, in a Sep. 22 letter received by the agency.


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