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27 of funds between bus and rail transit providers that A fourth agency's fare increase in August 2008 did complainants alleged had a disparate impact in viola- prompt an FTA complaint but on August 14, 2009, the tion of Title VI.375 Although the FTA concluded one case FTA advised the complainants that the FTA had con- on the basis of a "Title VI Resolution Agreement," the cluded that the agency's fare changes "did not result in FTA made a final determination in the other cases that a disproportionate adverse effect on a group protected the transit providers had not violated Title VI. by Title VI." The fifth agency reported a complaint prompted by a C. Reported Title VI Complaints in the Past 10 reduction in service that allegedly affected minority Years Based on Service Reductions or Fare and/or low-income areas. The agency's approach and Increases explanations, discussed in Section IX, infra, allayed the In connection with the present digest, 62 of 64 tran- complainants' concerns without there being any further sit agencies that responded to a survey conducted for action. the digest stated that within the past 10 years they had Although not identified in the survey, a complaint in reduced transit service and/or increased fares. As for September 2009 under Title VI in connection with the whether a reduction in service and/or an increase in OAC Project, which resulted in the FTA's denial of fares had resulted in any Title VI complaints against an funding under the ARRA for the project, is discussed, agency, five agencies reported that within the past 10 supra, in Section II.I of the digest. years they had received such complaints. D. Transit Agencies' Responses to Title VI As of January 2010, only two agencies reported hav- ing pending Title VI complaints. One complaint was for Complaints a reduction in transit service; the other complaint con- With respect to complaints processed at the FTA, cerned fare increases implemented in January 2008 as transit providers have responded in a variety of ways to well as January 2009. Title VI complaints.376 Some of the approaches are rele- A third agency had received complaints concerning vant to complaints alleging disparate impact caused by service changes, which caused some patrons in low- reductions in transit service and/or increases in fares.377 income and/or minority neighborhoods to have to walk First, some transit providers have focused on the approximately an additional city block for access to bus complaint's failure to show or allege any specific dis- service, and concerning a 2009 fare increase. No com- criminatory intent or effect, the complaint's failure to plaints against the agency were filed with the FTA. The identify any discrimination, the absence of proof of any agency's approach to handling the complaints is dis- alleged disparity, and/or the complaint's failure to show cussed in Section IX, infra, regarding transit agencies' a causal connection.378 Title VI and ADA best practices when having to reduce Second, if needed, transit providers have explained transit service or increase fares. the basis for the agency's decision, the adequacy of ex- isting service or of new service, and the provision, 379 where applicable, of alternative service. Equity Coalition v. Metro. Atlanta Transit Auth., FTA No. Third, other transit providers have emphasized that 2001-0084 (alleging, inter alia, disparate treatment by the a decision was made after appropriate deliberations and MARTA in its delivery of services to minority riders, its deci- study, that various options were considered, and/or that sion to raise fares, and its delivery of services to disabled rid- ers); Brazen v. Harris County Metro. Transit Authority, FTA there were public hearings and public participation No. 2003-0110 (alleging that the civil rights of poor and minor- prior to a decision and as part of the decision-making ity bus riders were violated because of the transit authority's process.380 "callous slashing and gutting" of bus service while "continuing Fourth, some transit providers have used statistics to spend precious taxpayer funds on a tram/trolley system"); and demographic information to rebut allegations of 381 Winkelman v. Bi-State Development Agency, FTA No. 2003- disparate impact. 0241 (alleging that a Cross-County Metro Link Extension Pro- Fifth, some transit providers have explained the ject discriminated against those who rely on public transit in sources of the transit provider's funding, any statutory an effort to benefit Washington University); Payne v. Chicago requirements or restrictions that may affect the transit Transit Auth., FTA No. 04-0194 (alleging that the CTA dis- provider's funding, and why there is a lack of funding, criminated against the predominantly minority residents of Chicago's South Side when the CTA chose not to fund the Gray Line transit route proposal for racial reasons); and Leese v. Suburban Mobility Auth. for Rapid Transit, FTA No. 2006- 376 Id. at 1113. 0238 (alleging that SMART's implementation of a proposed 377 Id. service reduction in November 2005 as a result of the decision 378 of the City of Livonia, Mich., to opt out of the Wayne County Id. at 11. 379 Transit Authority was discriminatory because state funds were Id. 380 shifted). Id. 375 381 Id. at 910. Id.