Press Releases

December 15, 2011

Federal Transit Report on Metro Service Cuts Shows Disturbing Evidence of Discrimination

LOS ANGELES -- Public Counsel President and CEO Hernán Vera released the following statement as the MTA board reviewed a Federal Transit Administration report on Dec. 15, 2011, showing serious concerns about how transit cuts have affected riders, particularly people of color. Public Counsel is the nation's largest not-for-profit law firm of its kind and serves thousands of working families, students and veterans who depend on transit.
 
"Every day Los Angeles residents depend on Metro to get to their jobs, to make it to school on time, or to get to their doctor’s appointment. We are troubled by the recent FTA report about the discriminatory impact of Metro’s service cuts and fare increases.
 
"Most disturbing is that the FTA found that Metro approved service cuts and raised fares without looking closely at how County residents would be affected and doing everything it could to avoid it.
 
"Government must protect its citizens from discrimination on account of race and ethnicity. Yet by failing to properly analyze how its policies, including service cuts, disproportionately affect minorities, Metro has failed  in this core obligation. This failure has resulted in major barriers to economic survival for Metro’s core riders — including diminished access to jobs, education, and health care.
 
"We urge the Metro board to take seriously the FTA Compliance Review which found Metro to be deficient in 5 of the 12 Title VI requirements: Notice to the Public of Title VI Rights, language access, adoption of system-wide service standards and policies, evaluation of service and fare changes, and monitoring transit service.
 
"We call upon the board to ensure a  rigorous analysis in addressing and correcting these deficiencies, and to make certain that the process going forward is accountable and transparent."