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42 back from LEP audiences both from within their com- Of the agencies responding that they have a policy, munities and at TriMet's activities such as open houses several referred to their complaint procedures or to and public hearings. It may be noted that TriMet's their Title VI FTA reports. The responses were that the "Language Implementation Plan" is made available by agency has a "formal ADA complaint investigation FTA on its Web site.563 process," "employs a grievance process for addressing Thus, most agencies responding to the survey re- all disagreements with service to ADA customers," or ported that they undertake to communicate effectively that "ADA issues are forwarded to either the specialized with and involve LEP populations. The transit agencies' service or operations department to determine if a vio- practices include some of the "promising practices" dis- lation of [the] ADA has occurred." cussed in the USDOT LEP Policy Guidance, such as GCRTA provided a more detailed description of its language banks, language support offices, the use of ADA practice. GCRTA stated that it "has a formal in- technology, telephone information lines and hot lines, ternal complaint procedure with a mission to ensure and signage and other outreach.564 Transit agencies re- prompt, fair impartial resolution of complaints and/or port using surveys or GIS mapping software to identify problem situations. This internal complaint procedure LEP communities; determining the languages spoken also identifies areas where corrective action is needed by the LEP persons in the area served; publishing no- and makes effective recommendations with regard to tices, advertisements, brochures, and newsletters in the those areas." languages of the LEP persons; holding hearings in loca- In the processing of an ADA complaint, GCRTA tions convenient to neighborhoods with affected LEP strives to: populations; and providing interpreters at meetings and hearings. · Maintain the confidentiality of the complainant to the extent permitted under the law. D. Transit Agencies' ADA Policies · Ensure that the complainant is aware of his or her Twenty transit agencies responding to the survey rights at all stages of the complaint process. stated that they had a policy for dealing with ADA is- · Investigate the allegations by reviewing informa- sues that may arise because of a reduction in transit tion and interviewing all the stakeholders. service and/or an increase in fares, although not all · Process the complaint within a reasonable amount policies were necessarily in writing or specific to the of time after the matter is brought to the agency's at- ADA. Forty-two agencies responded that they did not tention. have an ADA policy in connection with issues arising · Analyze the allegations of discrimination to iden- because of a reduction in transit service and/or an in- tify conditions or circumstances that may exist beyond crease in fares. the individual case that require further investigation. · Have access to GCRTA officials at all levels to dis- Table 4. cuss findings and recommendations regarding the com- Transit Agencies Having an ADA Policy for plaint and make periodic checks as necessary to assure Dealing With Issues Arising Because of a Reduc- that any agreed upon corrective action has been taken tion in Transit Service and/or an Increase or is continuing. in Fares GCRTA reported that "[i]n the event that there is a Transit Agencies Report- 20 determination that a probable discriminatory impact ing an ADA Policy Regard- exists as it relates to decisions made regarding transit ing Reduction in Transit services or future capital projects, the appropriate Dep- Service and/or Increase in uty General manager(s) are notified and required to Fares respond by clarifying and/or resolving the issue in ques- Transit Agencies Not 42 tion." Reporting an ADA Policy One agency described how it had successfully re- Regarding Reduction in solved complaints by the elderly and the disabled re- Transit Service and/or In- garding service reductions and fare increases. The ser- crease in Fares vice reductions caused some patrons to have to travel Transit Agencies Not 2 an additional one or two city blocks for access to bus Responding service. The agency reported that the complaints con- cerning reductions in service were resolved by explain- ing why the changes were occurring and that if the ad- ditional distance made access to the bus impossible, 563 See Examples of Language Implementation Plans Devel- riders could be eligible for paratransit service. As for oped by Transit Agencies, available at complaints made at a public hearing regarding a pro- http://www.fta.dot.gov/civilrights/civil_rights_5088.html (Last posed increase in fare for paratransit service to $3.00 accessed on Sept. 9, 2010). 564 per ride (twice the fixed-route rate), the agency re- DOT LEP Policy Guidance, 70 Fed. Reg. 74087, 74097 sponded by reducing the proposed fare increase to 098 (Dec. 14, 2005), available at $2.50. http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2005/05-23972.htm.