FTA dismisses Bus Riders Union request for civil rights investigation of Metro

Here’s the news from Metro CEO Art Leahy’s daily e-mail to staff:

In January and June 2011, the Bus Riders Union (BRU) filed complaints with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Executive Order #12898 on Environmental Justice regarding transit service reductions and fare changes. The BRU requested an FTA investigation of possible Title VI and Environmental Justice violations at Metro.

The FTA made a decision to close the complaint without an investigation and to await the results from a Title VI compliance review of Metro begun in July of 2011. The timing of the review was also due to an overall heightened awareness of Title VI Environmental Justice issues by the FTA. Similar reviews were held this year at other agencies in California such as the San Diego Association of Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in the Bay Area.

The BRU appealed the FTA decision to close the complaint without an investigation. Last week, the FTA advised the BRU that there is no avenue for appeal of a decision not to open an investigation. FTA reiterated to the BRU that a copy of Compliance Review Report will be provided when it is ready.

9 replies

  1. I find it absurd that an agency which is 90% funded with taxpayer dollars can create a union to begin with. If they want a union, at least have the courtesy to become more self-sufficient; my tax dollars should not be used to support union activities.

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  2. Frank M:

    You seem to have the facts mixed up. The Bus Riders Union is not affiliated with Metro and, in fact, is not even a union.

    The BRU is a activist group and they filed a claim with the federal government claiming that Metro has not complied with environmental justice laws.

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  3. @Frank M. The Bus Riders Union is NOT part of Metro. It’s an independent “union” (not even a real union, as to what you think), but they battle Metro as an outsider group. Don’t let the name “union” fool you.

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  4. Frank M: FYI — The Bus Riders “Union” isn’t an official union that was created by Metro, nor does it function like an actual labor union (for its employees). They just like to think they are :)

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  5. The Bus Riders “Union” is most certainly NOT a union. They don’t represent MTA employees, who have their own unions. They don’t even represent all bus riders.

    And they have tried to put a wedge between buses and rail lines, which makes no sense. They are to mass transit advocacy what PETA is to animal rights; they do more harm than good with their extreme zealotry.

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  6. Good job FTA! Justice served!

    The BRU is a bunch of people who want Metro to keep adding services and at the same time keep reducing the fares (ideally $0).

    Good point Mr. Fujita. The BRU does not even represent most Metro riders, and I am sure majority of Metro riders are much more reasonable people than the BRU.

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  7. The Source received this email from Sunyoung Yang, a lead organizer with the BRU:

    Hello Steve,

    I believe some fact checking is necessary on what is a post of outdated news of FTA response a week ago about clarification on appeal rights.

    We never submitted a complaint in January nor in June of this year but in fact they were supplemental facts and updates to the original complaint filed a year ago in November 2010 and the subsequent submissions in June-July were for the compliance review process that our November 2010 complaint helped trigger.

    As you know the concerns we raised in the November 2010 service cuts complaints are being folded in and addressed in the compliance review.

    Sunyoung Yang
    Lead Organizer
    Bus Riders Union and Labor/Community Strategy Center

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