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CIVIL RIGHTS/TITLE VI

Title VI Program
Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit Committee (BSOOB)

Adopted November 22, 2016
Updated November 13, 2019

Designated Title VI Coordinator:
Anthony Scavuzzo, Executive Director
13 Pomerleau Street, Biddeford, Maine 04005
Phone: 207-282-5408 | Email: tscavuzzo@BSOOBTransit.org

Introduction

Title VI was enacted as part of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. All recipients and sub recipients of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds must ensure that programs, policies and activities comply with FTA Title VI regulations. To provide recipients with specific guidance, FTA published Circular 4702.1B, October 2012. The instruction provided in the circular is intended to ensure recipients meet the Title VI requirements and appropriately integrate them into FTA-funded programs.

FTA-funded programs must submit to the FTA its Title VI Program every three years. Title VI Programs for systems like BSOOB (i.e., demand responsive service) are to include the following:

1. Notice of rights under Title VI
2. How to file a Title VI complaint
3. List of Title VI investigations, complaints or lawsuits
4. Public participation plan
5. Limited English Proficiency (LEP) language plan
6. Racial breakdown of non-elected advisory councils
7. Board of Director’s resolution or meeting minutes demonstrating that the Board approved the Title VI Program
8. Narrative describing sub recipient monitoring
9. Facility equity analysis

This update of BSOOB’s Title VI Program has been prepared to ensure that the level and quality of its demand response services are provided in a nondiscriminatory manner and that the opportunity for full and fair participation is offered to its riders and other community members. Additionally, through this program, BSOOB has examined the need for services and materials for persons for whom English is not their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English.

BSOOB is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in the receipt of any of BSOOB’s services on the basis of race, color or national origin.

Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and as a recipient of federal funding under the programs of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT), BSOOB has an obligation to ensure that:

• The benefits of its bus services are shared equitably throughout the service area
• The level and quality of bus services are sufficient to provide equal access to all riders in its service area
• No one is precluded from participating in BSOOB’s service planning and development process
• Decisions regarding service changes or facility locations are made without regard to race, color or national origin and that development and urban renewal benefitting a community as a whole not be unjustifiably purchased through the disproportionate allocation of its adverse environmental and health burdens on the community’s minority population
• A program is in place for correcting any discrimination, whether intentional or unintentional.

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT)
FTA Standard Title VI/Nondiscrimination Assurances

DOT Order No. 10502A

BSOOB (herein referred to as “Recipient”) hereby agrees that, as a condition to receiving any Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), is subject to and will comply with the following:

Statutory/Regulatory Authorities

• Title VI of the Civil Rights act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq., 78 stat. 252), (prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin)
• 49 C.F.R. Part 21 (entitled Nondiscrimination In Federally-Assisted Programs Of The Department Of Transportation-Effectuation Of Title VI Of The Civil Rights Act of 1964)
• 28 C.F.R. section 50.3 (U.S. Department of Justice Guidelines for Enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964)

FTA may include additional Statutory Regulatory Authorities here.

The preceding statutory and regulatory cites hereinafter are referred to as the “Acts” and “Regulations” respectively.

General Assurances

In accordance with the Acts, the Regulations, and other pertinent directives, circulars, policy, memoranda and/or guidance, the Recipient hereby gives assurance that it will promptly take any measures necessary to ensure that:

No person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity for which the Recipient receives Federal financial assistance from DOT, including FTA.

The Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 clarified the original intent of the Congress, with respect to Title VI and other Nondiscrimination requirements (The Age Discrimination Act of 1975m and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, by restoring the broad, institutional-wide scope and coverage of these nondiscrimination statutes and requirements to include all programs and activities of the Recipient, so long as any portion of the program is Federally funded.

FTA may include additional General Assurances in this section, or reference an addendum here.

Specific Assurances

More specifically, and without limiting the above General Assurance, the Recipient agrees with and gives the following Assurances with respect to its federally assisted programs:

1. The Recipient agrees that each “activity”, “facility”, or “program,” as defined in 21.23 (b) and 21.23 € of 49 C.F.R 21 will be (with regard to an “activity”) facilitated, or will be (with regard to a “facility”) operated, or will be (with regard to a “program”) conducted in compliance with all requirements imposed by, or pursuant to the Acts and the Regulations.

2. The Recipient will insert the following notification in all solicitations for bids, Requests for Proposals for work, or material subject to the Acts and the Regulations made in connection with all Federal Transit Programs and, in adapted form, in all proposals for negotiated agreements regardless of funding source:

The Recipient, in accordance with the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (78 Stat. 252, 42 U.S.C. 2000d to 2000d-4) and the Regulations, hereby notifies all bidders that it will affirmatively ensure that any contract entered into pursuant to this advertisement, disadvantaged business enterprises will be afforded full opportunity to submit bids in response to this invitation and will not be discriminated against on the grounds of race, color, or national origin in consideration for an award.

3. The Recipient will insert the clauses of Appendix A and E of this Assurance in every contract or agreement subject to the Acts and Regulations.

4. The Recipient will insert the clauses of Appendix B and this Assurance, as a covenant running with the land, in any deed from the United States effecting or recording a transfer of real property, structures, use, or improvements thereon or interest therein to a Recipient.

5. That where the Recipient receives Federal finance assistance to construct a facility, or part of a facility, the Assurance will extend to the entire facility and facilities operated in connection therewith.

6. That where the Recipient receives Federal financial assistance in the form, or for the acquisition of real property or an interest in real property, the Assurance will extend to rights to space on, over, or under such property.

7. That the Recipient will include the clauses set forth in Appendix C and Appendix D of this Assurance, as a covenant running with the land, in any future deeds, leases, licenses, permits, or similar instruments entered into by the Recipient with other parties:

a. for the subsequent transfer of real property acquired or improved under the applicable activity, project or program; and
b. for the construction or use of, or access to, space on, over, or under real property acquired of improved under the applicable activity, project or program.

8. That this Assurance obligates the Recipient for the period, during which Federal financial assistance is extended to the program, except where the Federal financial assistance is to provide, or is in the form of personal property, or real property, or interest therein, or structures or improvements thereon, in which case the Assurance obligates the Recipient, or any transferee for the longer of the following periods:

a. the period during which the property is used for a purpose for which the Federal financial assistance is extended, or for another purpose involving the provision for similar services or benefits; or

b. the period during which the Recipient retains ownership or possession of the property.

9. The Recipient will provide for such methods of administration for the program as are found by the Secretary of Transportation or the official to whom he/she delegates specific authority to give reasonable guarantee that it, other recipients, sub-recipients, sub-grantees, contractors, subcontractors, consultants, transferees, successors in interest, and other participants of Federal financial assistance under such program will comply will all requirements imposed or pursuant to the Acts, the Regulations, and this Assurance.

10. The Recipient agrees that the United States has a right to seek judicial enforcement with regard to any matter arising under the Acts, the Regulations, and this Assurance.

FTA may include additional Specific Assurances in this section.
By signing this ASSURANCE, recipient also agrees to comply (and require any sub recipients, sub-grantees, contractors, transferees, and/or assignees to comply) with all applicable provisions governing the FTA access to records, accounts, documents, information, facilities and staff. You also recognize that you must comply with any program or compliance reviews, and/or complaint investigations conducted by FTA. You must keep records, reports and submit the material for the review upon request to FTA, or their designees in a timely, complete and accurate way. Additionally, you must comply with all other reporting, data collection, and evaluation requirements, as prescribed by law or detailed in program guidance.

Recipient gives this ASSURANCE in consideration of and for obtaining and Federal grants, loans, contracts, agreements, property, and/or discounts, or other Federal-aid and Federal financial assistance extended after the date hereof to the recipients by the U.S. Department of Transportation. This ASSURANCE is binding on the Recipient, other recipients, sub-recipients, sub-grantees, contractors, subcontractors and their subcontractors’ transferees, successors in interest and any other participants in its programs. The person(s) signing below is authorized to sign this ASSURANCE on behalf of the Recipient.

Dated_______________.      By _____________________________
Anthony J. Scavuzzo, Executive Director
Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit Committee

Notice of Rights Under Title VI

BSOOB provides the following notice of rights under Title VI information on all transit schedules, brochures, pamphlets, maps, vehicles, facilities and the transit system website:

Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit Committee is committed to compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and all related regulations and relevant guidance. The Agency assures that no person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color or nation origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. To request additional information on BSOOB’s Title VI policy, or to file a discrimination complaint, please contact Rita Rose, Driver Supervisor, BSOOB Transit, 13 Pomerleau Street, Biddeford, Maine, 04005 and phone 207-282-5408 or email rrose@BSOOBTransit.org. Language translation services are available upon request.

How to File a Title VI Complaint

Procedures for Filing a Title VI Complaint:

Members of the public, including any individual, group of individuals, or entity, who believe they have been the subject of Title VI discrimination by BSOOB can file a written and signed BSOOB Title VI complaint form up to 180 days from the date of the alleged discrimination. Allegations received that imply harassment, retaliation, or unequal treatment in services will be processed as an allegation of discriminatory practice.

The completed form should be submitted to Rita Rose, Driver Supervisor , 13 Pomerleau Street, Biddeford, Maine 04005, Phone: 207-282-5408 | Email: rrose@BSOOBTransit.org.

Title VI complaints must be signed and dated.

The BSOOB Title VI complaint form is provided as Attachment 1.

To find out more about BSOOB’s nondiscrimination procedures or to file a complaint, look for information online at www.bsoobtransit.org or call 207-282-5408. Hard copy forms and instructions can be mailed upon request.

In the case where a complainant is unable, incapable or unwilling to provide a written statement, a verbal complaint of discrimination may be made to the Driver Supervisor. Under these circumstances, the complainant will be interviewed, and the Driver Supervisor will assist the complainant in converting the verbal allegations to writing.

The complainant has the right to file formally with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) or to seek legal counsel.

Procedures for Processing a Title VI Complaint:

All civil rights complaints received by the BSOOB shall be forwarded to the Civil Rights Officer (CRO). Complaints will then be disseminated to appropriate administrative staff for investigation.

Staff assigned shall investigate complaint(s) and assist the CRO in identifying and interviewing witnesses with knowledge or relevant information of the event. The accused will be informed and permitted to respond to the allegation. If necessary, additional information may be requested from the complainant and/or witnesses.

Once the complaint is received, BSOOB will review it to determine whether or not BSOOB has jurisdiction. The complainant will receive an acknowledgment letter informing her/him whether the complaint will be investigated by BSOOB.

BSOOB has 10 business days to investigate the complaint. If more information is needed to resolve the case, BSOOB may contact the complainant. The complainant has 10 business days from the date of the letter to send requested information to the investigator assigned to the case. If the investigator is not contacted by the complainant or does not receive the additional information within 10 calendar days, the investigator can administratively close the case. A case can also be administratively closed if the complainant no longer wishes to pursue the case.

As necessary, meetings may be requested with the complainant to discuss resolution. Staff investigating may request guidance from BSOOB, as necessary.

If a complaint is deemed incomplete, additional information will be requested, and the Complainant will be provided thirty (30) business days to submit the required information. Failure to do so may be considered good cause for a determination of no investigative merit.

If the complaint is deemed to have investigative merit a complete investigation will be conducted, and an investigative report will be completed within sixty (60) days from receipt of the complaint. The report will include a narrative description of the incident, summaries of all persons interviewed, a finding with recommendations for remedial steps as appropriate and necessary. The remedial steps, if any, will be implemented as soon as practicable. The Complainant will receive a copy of the final report together with any remedial steps.

If no violation is found and the Complainant wishes to appeal the decision, he or she may appeal directly to the Chair of BSOOB’s Governing Board c/o 13 Pomerleau Street, Biddeford, Maine 04005.

Upon completion of the investigative procedures, the assigned staff will draft a report based on the facts and submit it to BSOOB, or the appropriate agency. The report will contain, at minimum, the findings and conclusions concerning the complaint and recommendations for corrective and disciplinary actions, if necessary.

After the investigator reviews the complaint, BSOOB will issue one of two letters to the complainant: (1) a closure letter that summarizes the allegations and states there was not a Title VI violation and that the case will be closed, or (2) a Letter of Finding (LOF) that summarizes the allegations and the interviews regarding the alleged incident and any additional training of staff member(s) or other action that will occur.

If the complainant wishes to appeal the decision, she/he has 10 calendar days after the date of the closure letter or the LOF to do so.

When a complaint has been directly filed with another state or federal agency, the Agency is to inform the Title VI Coordinator where the complaint has been filed and coordinate any action needed to resolve the complaint.

Violations found to exist will prompt appropriate action be taken, with progress of resolution monitored and reported. Any actions taken as a result of the investigation will be the responsibility of the BSOOB, or other governing agency. If no violation is found and the complainant is not satisfied, complaints may be filed directly with the FTA Office of Civil Rights.

A letter will be provided to the complainant from the BSOOB that details the findings and conclusion, and corrective action taken or to be taken, if applicable.

The BSOOB will maintain a complaint log of information pertaining to Title VI and other complaints of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation including: the date the complaint, summary of the allegation(s), status of complaint; and actions taken.

Should the BSOOB receive a complaint in the form of a formal charge or lawsuit, the BSOOB may seek professional counsel to perform the investigation and other procedures described herein.

Complaints may also be filed with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) no later than 180 days after the date of the alleged discrimination. Complaints to FTA may be submitted to the following office: Federal Transit Administration, Office of Civil Rights, 55 Broadway, 9th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02142.

List of Title VI Investigations, Complaints or Lawsuits

BSOOB maintains a list of any alleged discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin, including any active investigations conducted by entities other than FTA, lawsuits, and complaints naming the Agency. The list includes the date that the investigation, lawsuit or complaint was filed; a summary of the allegation(s) and date resolved.

With each application BSOOB files with FTA, certification regarding any Title VI lawsuits or discrimination complaints and a summary of any civil rights compliance review activities.

As shown below, there have been zero (0) Title VI investigations, complaints or lawsuits in the three-year period since the last Title VI Program submittal.

Table 1: Listing of Investigations, Lawsuits and Complaints (June 2016-May 2019)
Type Date Summary Status Action(s) Taken
Investigations None
Lawsuits None
Complaints None

Public Participation Plan

BSOOB assures that it will perform FTA related programs without regard to race, color or national origin, and minority populations are not denied the benefits of or excluded from participation in the programs. The process by which annual program of projects are submitted include:

• Methods to ensure fair and equitable distribution of services;
• Ongoing monitoring through site visits and reviews of all services for compliance with Title VI
• A planning and public involvement process, and project development and selection processes which include Title VI, Environmental Justice, and Limited English Proficiency compliance.

The aforementioned activities include, but are not limited to:

• Ensuring public involvement is inclusive to all segments of the community
• Joint effort by the sponsor and other implementing agencies, interested groups, individuals, and community-based organizations for a proactive impact and to eliminate disparate impacts as they are identified
• Interaction techniques used in this process include: task forces, technical advisory committees, focus groups, presentations at community board meetings, use of media (newspapers, radio, TV), public access channels, newsletter, computer bulletin boards, and the Internet
• Impact analysis may include the effect on residential areas and on a neighborhood’s (i.e., ethnic) character and stability; the effect of an improvement on minority businesses and residences and those of other special groups and interests; and the effect on employment (gains and losses) for minorities, women and other groups. In addition, the planning process will look to compare the minority and/or low-income populated areas to other income areas to ensure equitable services and access.

This concerted effort will be on-going to ensure that the disadvantaged and those traditionally under-served are involved in the selection process.

BSOOB’s Public Participation Plan has been prepared to ensure that no one is precluded from participating in the service planning and development process. BSOOB makes a concentrated effort to involve customers and the general public, including minority, low-income, disabled and LEP populations within the service area when conducting public outreach and involvement in service changes, fare changes, plans, budgets and other decisions that may have an impact on their lives.

A variety of approaches and outreach activities are utilized to engage interested parties and members of the public. The methods used to inform the public of these changes include newspapers, press releases, media outlets, notification to community based organizations, correspondence and advocacy of minority predominant communities, agency website, various social media, surveys and seat drops on service routes.

BSOOB’s Governing Board meetings are open to the public and the meeting location is accessible by transit as well as ADA accessible. All supporting materials are posted on BSOOB’s website along with the agenda. The Board meets approximately monthly. The current regular meeting dates for the Board are the fourth Thursday of each month, at 4 PM, in BSOOB’s building at 13 Pomerleau St., Biddeford, Maine and listed on BSOOB’s website, allowing the public ample notice for meeting dates. Alerting the public to these meetings includes the following outreach tactics:

• formal notice on one or more local newspapers
• brochures on board all buses
• social media posts
• notices on BSOOB’s website and the websites of member communities
• newsletter distribution and e-mail blasts to numerous community organizations, stakeholders and residents who have asked to be on BSOOB’s e-mail distribution list.

BSOOB provides translation services, including American Sign Language, upon advance request.

Public meetings are offered to further share information and gather input from the public. These meetings are publicized through many of the same means stated above.

Monthly meetings include outreach to affected communities for on-going input of needs, changes and other relevant topics to improve services.

Public hearings are provided when formal comments from the public regarding plans that impact services and fares are desired and/or requested. Notices of public hearings are published in newspapers as well as many of the same means stated above. The process for a public hearing is as follows:

• Chair shall open a Public Hearing on the proposed change at a meeting of the Transit Committee
• Individuals shall have the opportunity to speak on the proposed change prior to the Transit Committee’s vote. (The Committee may a set time limit on individual comments but should allow a minimum of three (3) minutes for each individual who wishes to speak)
• In addressing the Committee, individuals should identify themselves for the record. At a minimum the Minutes should identify each speaker, speaker’s hometown and whether speaker is in favor or against the proposed fee increase or service reduction
• Letters and emails from members of the public received in relation to the change shall be reviewed by the Transit Committee and entered into the record
• After members of the public that are in attendance have had a chance to speak at least once, the Chair may close the public hearing
• The Committee shall consider comments and correspondence received prior to voting on the proposed changes
• A copy of the proposed change announcement, press releases and news articles regarding the public comment process, as well as, correspondence from the public on the topic shall be included with the permanent meeting minutes of the Transit Committee
• Public comment is not required prior to enacting service increases or minor service decreases.

BSOOB coordinates with regional planning efforts including outreach to targeted populations (minority, low income, LEP, disabled, etc.) within the BSOOB service area. BSOOB works with the MPO and State to obtain Census and other data to help identify the location of the targeted populations. BSOOB will disseminate information to the identified populations (e.g., church, neighborhood gathering space) to seek comment, interest in new service, service revisions, service extensions, fare changes, etc. BSOOB will document and maintain on file all activities related to Title VI outreach.

BSOOB participates in the local public transit-human services transportation coordinated planning effort. This effort results in regular meetings with representatives of human service agencies to discuss the transportation needs of elderly persons, persons with disabilities, low income and LEP persons and current or planned services that meet the needs of these individuals.

The public involvement process for the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and the Transit Program of Projects provides the public another opportunity to participate in BSOOB’s transportation planning efforts. This effort is led by the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System (PACTS), the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). PACTS has a written public involvement plan and an approved Title VI Plan. Strategies used by PACTS to inform and involve the public in transportation planning efforts include:

• Website and blog
• News releases and outreach to local media, including regular meetings with editors
• Videos, brochures and visual displays
• Annual reports and presentations to civic and professional groups
• Workshop, forums and open houses
• Public opinion surveys, interested parties email distribution list
• Public notices published in local media and distributed to interested parties by email

PACTS solicits involvement of non-transportation organizations that serve the transportation disadvantaged to serve on PACTS committees and includes representatives of these organizations on its interested parties email list. Annually, PACTS contacts transportation and non-transportation groups that serve the transportation disadvantaged in preparation for writing annual goals. The current contact list includes 45 organizations. All PACTS committee meetings (policy, executive, technical transit and planning) are open to the public.

BSOOB will publish a public notice of its intent to apply for FTA funding. The notice requests comments on the project from the public, other transportation providers and human service agencies. In addition to publication in newspapers, the notice will also be mailed to human service agencies and other providers. Any comments received are considered in the development of projects.

Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Language Plan

Who qualifies as an LEP Individual?

Any individual who speaks a language other than English as their primary language, and who cannot speak English well or at all. In addition, individuals who have a limited ability to read, write or speak are considered LEP individuals. To comply with guidance and rules issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, BSOOB will take reasonable steps to ensure that all persons have meaningful access to its programs and services, at no additional cost.

The following LEP Plan has several elements contained in the overall assessment used to identify LEP individuals who need assistance. Implementation includes the development of language assistance measures, training, notification process, and a monitoring plan.

Four-Factor Analysis

In order to develop this plan, BSOOB implemented the following required four-factor analysis:

1. The number or proportion percentage of LEP persons eligible to be served or likely to be encountered by BSOOB’s service;
2. The frequency with which LEP persons come in contact with BSOOB’s service;
3. The nature and importance of BSOOB’s service to the LEP population’s lives;
4. The resources available to BSOOB for LEP outreach, as well as the costs associated with that outreach.

Factor 1: The number or proportion percentage of LEP persons eligible to be served or likely to be encountered by BSOOB’s service.

The first step in determining components of an LEP Plan is understanding the proportion of LEP persons who may encounter and use BSOOB’s services, their literacy skills in English and their native language, and the location of their communities and neighborhoods.

To do this, BSOOB evaluated the level of English literacy and to what degree individuals in its service area speak a language other than English and what are those languages.

Table 2 shows that, the overall population and LEP population across the BSOOB service area, broken down by city. The total population is 46,183. Within that population, 5,597 (12.1%) are estimated to speak another language at home and 1,221 (2.6%) are estimated to speak English “less than very well”, and speak another language at home.

Table 2. Speak Language Other Than English; Speak English Less Than Very Well
Town Total Population (5 Years and Older) Total Population (5 Years and Over) Speaking Language other than English Total Population (5 Years and Over) Speaking Language other than English & Where at Least 0.50% Speak English less than “Very Well”
Biddeford 22,061 3,419 (15.5%) 995 (4.5%)
Saco 17,892 1,719 (9.6%) 274 (1.5%)
Old Orchard Beach 8,025 741 (9.2%) 59 (0.7%)
Total Biddeford-Saco-Old Orchard Beach service area 47,978 5,879 (12.3%) 1,328 (2.8%)
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2017

Table 3 identifies those languages or language groups, other than English, that are spoken at home and where English is spoken “less than very well”, and that determine the LEP population. There are no languages or language groups that have a population of at least 1,000 or at least 5% of the total service area population. Therefore, all languages or language groups are safe harbor provision languages.

Table 3. Languages in households where a language other than English is spoken and where at least 0.50% speak English less than very well
Town Language 1
Indo-European, other than Spanish Language 2
Asian and Pacific Island Language 3
Other, including Spanish
Biddeford 421 (1.91%) 235 (1.07%) 339 (1.54%)
Saco 209 (1.17%) 65 (0.36%) 0
Old Orchard Beach 55 (1.53%) 0 0
Total Biddeford-Saco-Old Orchard Beach service area 685 (1.43%) 300 (0.63%) 339 (0.71%)
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2017

These small numbers of LEP persons are distributed throughout the BSOOB service area and are likely to be reasonably close to the service, especially since it is a route deviation service.

Factor 2: The frequency with which LEP persons come in contact with BSOOB’s service.

There are a number of places where BSOOB riders and members of the LEP population can come into contact with BSOOB’s services including riding the bus, calls and direct contact with customer service representatives, outreach materials and orientation events.

Major possible points of contact include:
• Using bus service (on board signage, announcements and driver language skills)
• Communication with customer service staff (phone, email, website, in person at Saco Transportation Center)
• Printed and online materials including:
 Local news media including print and radio
 Public meetings and orientation events
 Participating in surveys

When limited English proficiency is a barrier to using BSOOB’s transit services, the consequences for the individual can be to limit their access to employment, education, healthcare and other life necessities. Critical information from BSOOB that can affect access includes:

• Route and schedule information
• Fare and payment information
• Information regarding making the best use of the system
• Service alerts and announcements
• Complaint and comment forms
• Announcements related to public meetings
• Emergency communications

BSOOB currently has no hard data to indicate the types and frequency of actual interactions of LEP populations with the transit system, although there is anecdotal information from drivers, dispatchers and other agency personnel to indicate that such interactions do occur, but on a very limited basis. BSOOB understands that the LEP population is a prime transportation disadvantaged market for the transit system and will be increasing its efforts to collect hard data on LEP interactions and issues, as described in later paragraphs.

Factor 3: The nature and importance of BSOOB’s service to the LEP population’s lives.

The importance of services that can be utilized effectively by LEP population can have positive impacts on access to health care, education and employment. Public transit is a key resource in achieving mobility for many LEP persons.

BSOOB looks to provide service information, riding instructions, Title VI and ADA information, complaint procedures, detours, route changes, fare increases and other critical services and limitations that may affect individuals and on all vehicles, and schedules, timetables, social networks and websites.

The BSOOB community outreach effort considers the limits of information exchange and the need to reach out to the following community-based organizations that work with LEP populations. Outreach includes:

• Community Action programs
• Independent Living networks
• Social Services departments
• Aging departments
• Work force development groups
• Translator networks
• York County Community Action
• Portland Metro Transit Services
• South Portland Transit Services

BSOOB performs outreach in the form of questionnaires/surveys intended to obtain information on languages spoken, trends, program awareness and services offered. Further identified are the needs of LEP populations that are not being met and barriers to service use.

BSOOB participates in the development of the coordinated plan to meet the specific transportation needs of seniors and people with disabilities, especially those with LEP needs. BSOOB’s buses are accessible to persons with disabilities, but BSOOB has no data that suggests that seniors and people with disabilities are part of the LEP population.

BSOOB has “I Speak” language identification cards available on its buses and at public meetings. Should the need arise, BSOOB can utilize several translation services at a cost of approximately $50 – $65/hour. However, during the past three years, there have been no LEP persons requesting the use of these services.

Factor 4: The resources available to BSOOB for LEP outreach, as well as the costs associated that outreach.

BSOOB is committed to assuring that resources are used to reduce the barriers that limit access to LEP populations to the best of our ability, and that information and services are disseminated to LEP persons in a timely manner. While BSOOB does not track these expenses of providing language assistance, ongoing monitoring of this task is constant. The BSOOB will continue to plan within its budget funding to meet compliance.

Planning activities include:

• Development of various public outreach documents
• Engaging institutions of higher learning like UNE and UMA-Saco
• Web site presence
• Training and customer service programs
• Planning department activities such as conducting public hearings
• Flexible schedules and timetables
• Regular meetings with local community

Assistance strategies include:

• First encounter planning when engaging an LEP individual
• User-friendly web presence
• Notification in applicable languages that meet the 5% or one-thousand-person threshold
• Identify vital materials for distribution
• Identify bilingual needs and look to address as applicable
• Identify translation services and technologies needed

As a result of preparing this Title VI Program update, BSOOB has realized that it needs to increase its efforts to locate LEP individuals and groups, and to better ensure that they know about the transit service and feel comfortable in using it.
BSOOB’s outreach personnel will increase both the scope and level of effort of their outreach efforts with LEP populations.

BSOOB will provide written instructions for all applicable employees who regularly interact with the public, about how to respond to and assist an LEP individual. The policy developed will look to ensure competent interaction through known obligations to allow for meaningful access to information, services and training.

Training:

• Upon being hired, Staff will receive this LEP plan explaining LEP policies and procedures;
• Staff having contact with the public will undergo training with regards to working effectively in-person and through interpreters;
• Mandatory training is required for front line staff at hiring and at refresher intervals determined by management. Training will further include the definition of a service area, programs and activities affected, LEP determinations and thresholds, types of LEP services that are available, and the importance of compassionate practices across all populations;
• State and Federal training programs and webinars will be mandatory to the extend they are practical;
• Best practices identified for engaging LEP populations will look to be collected on an on-going basis;
• This plan will be considered a living document that organizes the research, planning and other materials used to disseminate information to our staff, affected agencies and the public.

BSOOB issues its LEP policy and procedures to all front-line employees required to understand the integration of LEP individuals. This is performed under many different circumstances such as: orientation of new employees, training and customer service, during operations, at first encounter, etc.

BSOOB, having established services that can provide outreach, also has a responsibility to provide awareness of the availability of those services to the LEP populations. This is performed by publishing material (posted in applicable languages) for dissemination on vehicles, stop locations, transfer points, agencies of need, web presence, social networks, translators, community organizations, local media, newspapers, schools and colleges, community and religious organizations and other available outreach services.

Some locations of posting include:
• BSOOB website
• BSOOB vehicles
• Southern Maine Healthcare facility
• Shaw’s Shopping Plaza
• Five Points Shopping Center
• Dollar Stores
• Quick Marts
• Human Services Agencies
• Community Organizations
• Places of Worship

Monitoring and changing the LEP Plan

BSOOB monitors outreach procedures on an ongoing basis through a systematic approach of feedback generated by questionnaires, surveys and census changes. Localized LEP population and feedback from community-based organizations that serve LEP communities also keep us apprised of their needs and changes.

BSOOB considers the information provided and makes changes to the language assistance plan as necessary with input from the population and their affected organizations. The plan otherwise is updated on a triennial basis (every 3 years).

Vital written documents include Title VI Complaint Form, Notice to Public, and other documents that provide access to services. Within the past three years, there have been no requests by LEP persons to have these documents provided in another language.

BSOOB provides notice to LEP persons about the availability of language assistance. BSOOB has “I Speak” language identification cards available on its buses and at public meetings. BSOOB also posts Title VI posters in its offices and at other prominent places.

BSOOB monitors, evaluates and updates the language assistance plan. On a yearly basis, BSOOB’s Title VI Coordinator will review the Title VI plan in conjunction with Census data, FTA requirements, and any developments that would impact the plan including complaints and requests for language assistance services. Based on this review, BSOOB’s Language Assistance Plan will be updated accordingly.

BSOOB will participate in LEP training sessions provided by MaineDOT at Maine Transit Association meetings and will also review on an annual basis MaineDOT’s training document titled “How to Work with a Telephone Interpreter” and any other Title VI documents on MaineDOT’s website.

All BSOOB staff and volunteers will be trained on Title VI. Training will include the following documents:

• Non-discrimination poster
• Title VI complaint form
• Complaint log
• LEP (Four Factor Analysis and Language Assistance Plan)
• Title VI brochure

Affidavits will be signed when training is completed and filed as part of the Title VI program documentation.

BSOOB will conduct on-board rider surveys, in part to discover LEP persons, their usage of the transit service, and any barriers that they may find in such usage.

BSOOB will survey its drivers, call takers and dispatchers to better understand the frequency with which LEP riders come into contact with BSOOB services. The survey will ask what language skills already exist among employees, the number and nature of encounters with riders or other community members where language is a barrier, and what type of needs or requests for assistance has been received from LEP customers.

BSOOB will have on call, a translation service for vital documents, such as:

• ADA overview
• ADA application
• Reduced fare information and application
• How to Ride Guide including fare information
• Title VI brochure
• Title VI complaint form
• General complaint form
• Public meeting announcements

BSOOB will also have on call an interpreter service when such assistance is requested for attendance at meetings, or to by call takers and by drivers when passengers need assistance.

BSOOB will work with the local school systems to help identify LEP families and to attempt to provide them with appropriate information and travel training on how to use the transit system.

Racial Breakdown of Non-Elected Advisory Councils

Decisions regarding policy, service changes, fares, operations and capital programs are made by a municipally appointment board of directors. BSOOB has a Governing Board of 9 members who are appointed by each of the three municipalities. The Governing Board has 2 Board Committees and 1 Advisory Committee. All meetings are open to the public. The following chart lists the Board and other committees and their membership racial breakdown.

Board, Committee or Task Force Caucasian Latino African American Asian American Native American
BSOOB Governing Board 9 0 0 0 0
Finance Committee 3 0 0 0 0
Personnel Committee 3 0 0 0 0
Advisory Committee 3 0 0 0 0

Board of Director’s Resolution or Meeting Minutes Demonstrating that the Board Approved the Title VI Program

BSOOB’s Board of Directors approved this updated Title VI Program at a meeting on May 23, 2019. A record of the meeting minutes is provided as Attachment 2.

Narrative Describing Subrecipient Monitoring

This is not applicable to BSOOB.

Facility Equity Analysis

During the past three (3) years, BSOOB did construct a major addition to its existing maintenance/office facilities. There was no Facility Equity Analysis conducted for this project, nor was one required due to the scope and type of project.

When BSOOB plans to construct or expand a facility, such as a vehicle storage facility, maintenance facility, transit hub or operation center, the agency will include a copy of the Title VI Equity Analysis conducted during the planning stage with regard to the location and impact of the facility. The following principles will be applied in the analysis:

• To avoid, minimize, or mitigate disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects, including social and economic effects, on minority populations and low-income populations
• To ensure the full and fair participation by all potentially affected communities in the transportation decision-making process
• To prevent the denial of, reduction in, or significant delay in the receipt of benefits by minority and low-income populations
• To follow federal guidance provided in FTA Circular 4703.1 (August 2012)

Any construction projects funded through FTA programs will include an environmental justice analysis in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation as applicable.

Service Standards and policies include:

• Vehicle load:
The average of all loads during peak operating period should not exceed capacity which are shown here.

Seated capacity Total customers percentage
2002 Orion 29 55 190%
2003 MCI 49 49 100%
2003 New Flyer 30 55 183%
2008 Orion 45 45 100%
2010 Eldorado 29 37 128%
2010 Eldorado 29 37 128%

• Headways (frequencies)
BSOOB provides hourly service on 2 services and 30-minute service on the third. Scheduling involves many factors including financial support, cost, ridership expectation and density.

• On-Time performance
90% of BSOOB’s buses complete their routes no more than 9 minutes late. BSOOB strives to maintain a 90% reliability factor. Exceptions will be inclement weather, snowstorms, floods, and ice. BSOOB monitors this closely. A transit vehicle is considered on time if it departs no more than 1 minute early and no more than 5 minutes late.

• Service availability
BSOOB routes are based on ¾ mile buffer zones, so that 90% of riders can reach a transit stop. BSOOB distributes transit service to 5 communities, 3 of which are the owners (Biddeford, Saco and Old Orchard Beach). Scarborough is contracted at $25,000 per year and Portland doesn’t contribute to BSOOB Transit’s operating budget.

• Vehicle assignment policy:
Bus assignments are standard across the spectrum. BSOOB doesn’t have any bus shorter than 35 FT, Buses are assigned by service intervals. Buses are assigned to routes on a more or less permanent basis, based on availability and serviceability. Replacement buses will be assigned to all routes on an equitable and rotating basis. No route is favored over the other.

• Transit amenity policy:
Vehicles:
All transit vehicles will continue to have equal amenities such as air conditioning and bicycle racks. Vehicles are rotated on routes without regard to any other factors than the ones in the assignment policy.
Bus Shelters:
BSOOB has 4 shelters that have been operational for up to 7 years. These shelters are placed in areas of high ridership volume. Shelters are maintained and insured by BSOOB. A bus shelter maintenance policy is in development as we are a part of the PACTS region sign and shelter project. This project will investigate, and rank stops that need a shelter and will cover installation/removal of all shelters within the BSOOB operating area.

Appendix A

The following appears in each of BSOOB Transit’s contractual agreements:

During the Performance of this contract, the contractor, for itself, its assignees and successors in interest (hereinafter referred to as the “contractor”) agrees as follows:

1. Compliance with Regulations: The contractor (hereinafter includes consultants) will comply with the Acts and Regulations relative to Non-discrimination in Federally assisted programs of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration (FTA), as they may be amended from time to time, which are herein incorporated by reference and made a part of this contract.

2. Non-discrimination: The contractor, with regard to the work performed by it during the contract, will not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, or national origin in the selection and retention of subcontractors, including procurements of materials and leases of equipment. The contractor will not participate directly or indirectly in the discrimination prohibited by the Acts and Regulations, including employment practices when the contract covers any activity, project or program set forth in Appendix B of 49 CFR Part 21.

3. Solicitations for subcontracts: including procurements of Materials and Equipment: In all solicitations, either by competitive bidding or negotiation made by the contractor for work to be performed under a subcontract, including procurements of materials or leases of equipment, each potential subcontractor of supplier will be notified by the contractor of the contractor’s obligations under this contract and the Acts and Regulations relative to non-discrimination on the grounds of race, color or national origin.

4. Information and Reports: The contractor will provide all information and reports required by the Acts, the Regulations and directives issued pursuant thereto and will permit access to its books, records, accounts, other sources of information and its facilities as may be determined by the Recipient or the FTA to be pertinent to ascertain compliance with such Acts, Regulations and instructions. Where any information required of a contractor is in the exclusive possession of another who fails or refuses to furnish the information, the contractor will so certify to the Recipient or the FTA, as appropriate, and will set forth what efforts it has made to obtain the information.

5. Sanctions for Noncompliance: In the event of the contractor’s noncompliance with the Non-discrimination provisions of this contract, the Recipient will impose such contract sanctions as it or the FTA may determine to be appropriate including, but not limited to:

a. Withholding payments to the contractor under the contract until the contractor complies;
and/or
b. Cancelling, terminating or suspending a contract in whole or in part.

6. Incorporation of Provisions: The contractor will include the provisions one through six in every subcontract, including procurements of materials and leases of equipment, unless exempt by the Acts, the Regulations and directives issued pursuant thereto. The contractor will take action with respect to any subcontract or procurement as the recipient or the FTA may direct as a means of enforcing such provisions including sanctions for noncompliance. Provided, that if the contractor becomes involved in, or is threatened litigation by a subcontractor, or supplier because of such direction, the contractor may request the Recipient to enter into any litigation to protect the interests of the Recipient. In addition, the contractor may request the United States to enter the litigation to protect the interests of the United States.

Appendix B

The following appears in each of BSOOB Transit’s contractual agreements:

During the performance of this contract, the contractor, for itself, its assignees and successors in interest (hereinafter referred to as the “contractor”) agrees to comply with the following non-discrimination statutes and authorities; including but not limited to:

• Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq., 78 stat. 252), (prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin); and 49 CFR Part 21.
• The Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, (42 U.S.C. 4601), (prohibits unfair treatment of persons displaced or whose property has been acquired because of Federal or Federal-aid programs and projects).
• Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973, (23 U.S.C., 324 et seq.), (prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex).
• Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1975, as amended, (42 U.S.C., 6101 et seq.), (prohibits discrimination on the basis of age).
• Airport and Airway improvement Act of 1982, (49 U.S.C., 471, Section 47123), as amended (prohibits discrimination based on race, creed, color, national origin, or sex).
• The Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, (PL 100-209), (Broadened the scope, coverage and applicability of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, by expanding the definition of the terms “programs or activities” to include all of the programs or activities of the Federal-aid recipients, sub-recipients and contractors, whether such programs or activities are Federally funded or not).
• Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in the operation of public entities, public and private transportation systems, places of public accommodation, and certain testing entities (42 U.S.C., 12131-12189) as implemented by Department of Transportation regulations at 49 C.F.R. parts 37 and 38).
• The Federal Aviation Administration’s Non-discrimination statute (49 U.S.C., 47123) (prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin and sex).
• Executive Order 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environment Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations, which ensures Non-discrimination against minority populations by discouraging programs, policies, and activities with disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority and low-income populations.
• Executive Order 13166, Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency and resulting agency guidance, national origin discrimination includes discrimination because of Limited English proficiency (LEP). To ensure compliance with Title VI, you must take reasonable steps to ensure that LEP persons have meaningful access to your programs (70 Fed. Reg. at 74087 to 74100).
• Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended, which prohibits you from discriminating because of sex in education programs or activities (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq).