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About Citrus Connection

TITLE VI
NON-DISCRIMINATION ASSURANCE

The Lakeland Area Mass Transit District d.b.a. the Citrus Connection processes complaints relating to Title VI in accordance with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations at 49 CFR Section 21.11 (b) and 21.11(c).

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance. Specifically, Title VI provides that “no person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national 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.” (42 U.S.C. Section 2000d). The Environmental Justice component of Title VI guarantees fair treatment for all people and provides for Citrus Connection, to identify and address, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority and low-income populations, such as undertaking reasonable steps to ensure that Limited English Proficiency (LEP) persons have meaningful access to the programs, services, and information Citrus Connection provides. Citrus Connection works to ensure nondiscriminatory transportation in providing public transportation for all Polk County citizens. Citrus Connection’s Title VI Coordinator is responsible for Civil Rights Compliance and Monitoring to ensure non-discriminatory provision of transit services and programs.

Members of the public may request additional information relating to Nondiscrimination obligation from:

The Lakeland Area Mass Transit District Title VI Coordinator
Marcia Roberson
Call Center Director
Lakeland Area Mass Transit District
1212 George Jenkins Blvd., Lakeland, FL 33815
Phone number (863) 733-4222
Fax number (863) 327-1364
mroberson@ridecitrus.com

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
Federal Transit Administration
230 Peachtree St., N.W., Suite 800
Atlanta, GA 30303
Attention: Region IV Civil Rights Officer
Phone number (404) 865-5620
Website: http//www.fta.dot.gov

RIGHT TO FILE A COMPLAINT

Any person who believes himself of any specific class of persons to be subjected to discrimination prohibited by Title VI may by himself or by a representative file an official Title VI complaint with the Title VI Coordinator or with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). A complaint must be filed no later than 180 days after the date of the alleged discrimination, unless the time for filing is extended by FTA

FILING A COMPLAINT WITH LAKELAND AREA MASS TRANSIT DISTRICT

Lakeland Area Mass Transit District encourages you to make your complaint in writing (Click here for Title VI Complaint Form or Formulario de Queja de Titulo VI), which includes the following information:

  • Your name, address and how to contact you (phone number, email address, and mailing address)
  • How, why, when and where you believe you were discriminated against. Include the location, names and contact information of any witnesses. If the alleged incident occurred on a bus or other Citrus Connection vehicle, please give the date, time of day, and bus/vehicle number if available.
  • Your signature

In the case where a complainant is unable or incapable of providing a written statement, a verbal complaint of discrimination may be made to the Citrus Connection Title VI Coordinator. Under these circumstances, the complainant will be interviewed, and the Title VI Coordinator will assist the complainant in completing a written statement.

Any complaint must be filed with the Citrus Connection Title VI Coordinator within 180 days of the date of the alleged Title VI violation.

All complaints will be investigated promptly. Reasonable measures will be undertaken to preserve any information that is confidential. The Title VI Coordinator will review every complaint, and when necessary, begin the investigation process. At a minimum the investigator will:

  • Identify and review all relevant documents, practices and procedures;
  • Identify and interview persons with knowledge of the alleged Title VI violation, i.e., the person making the complaint; witnesses or anyone identified by the complainant; anyone who may have been subject to similar activity, or anyone with relevant information.

Upon completion of the investigation, the Title VI Coordinator will complete a final report for the Executive Director. If a Title VI violation is found to exist, remedial steps as appropriate and necessary will be taken immediately. The complainant will also receive a final report together with any remedial steps. The investigation process and final report should take no longer than twenty-five (25) business days. If no violation is found and the complainant wishes to appeal the decision, he or she may do so by contacting the Federal Transit Administration.

FILING A COMPLAINT WITH THE FEDERAL TRANSIT ADMINSTRATION (FTA)

COMPLAINT ACCEPTANCE
Once a complaint has been accepted by FTA for investigation, FTA will notify the recipient or subrecipient that it has been subject to a Title VI complaint and ask the agency to respond in writing to the complainant’s allegations. Once the complainant agrees to release the complaint to the recipient or subrecipient, FTA will provide the agency with the complaint. If the complainant does not agree to release the strives to complete a Title VI complaint investigation within 180 days of the date that FTA accepts the complaint for investigation.

INVESTIGATIONS
FTA will make a prompt investigation whenever a compliance review, report, complaint or any other information indicates a possible failure to comply with this part. The investigation will include, where appropriate, a review of the pertinent practices and policies of the recipient, the circumstances under which the possible noncompliance with this part occurred, and other factors relevant to a determination as to whether the recipient has failed to comply with the Title VI.

LETTERS OF FINDING AND RESOLUTION
After the investigation has been completed FTA’s Office of Civil Rights will transmit to the complainant and the grantee one of the following three letters based on its findings:

  1. A letter of resolution that explains the steps the recipient or subrecipient has taken or promises to take to come into compliance with Title VI.
  2. A letter of finding that is issued when the recipient or subrecipient is not found to be in noncompliance with Title VI. This letter will include an explanation of why the recipient or subrecipient was not found to be in non-compliance, and provide notification of the complainant’s appeal rights. If applicable, the letter can include a list of procedural violations or concerns, which can put the recipient or subrecipient on notice that certain practices are questionable and that without corrective steps, a future violation finding is possible.
  3. A letter of finding that is issued when the recipient or subrecipient is found to be in noncompliance. This letter will include each violation referenced as to the applicable regulations, a brief description of proposed remedies, notice of the time limit on the conciliation process, the consequences of failure to achieve voluntary compliance, and an offer of assistance to the recipient or subrecipient in devising a remedial plan for compliance, if appropriate.

APPEALS PROCESS
The letters of finding and resolution will offer the complainant and the recipient or subrecipient the opportunity to provide additional information that would lead FTA to reconsider its conclusions. In general, FTA requests that the parties in the complaint provide this additional information within 60 days of the date the FTA letter of finding was transmitted. After reviewing this information, FTA’s Office of Civil Rights will respond either by issuing a revised letter of resolution or finding to the appealing party, or by informing the appealing party that the original letter of resolution or finding remains in force. FTA strives to transmit these letters within 30 to 60 days of receiving the appeal.

NOTE: The FTA may delay its investigation if the complainant and the party complained against agree to postpone the investigation pending settlement negotiations.

DISADVANTAGE BUSINESS ENTERPRISE (DBE)

Citrus Connection is a designated recipient of funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). In order for a business concern to participate in FTA assisted contracts as a DBE firm, the firm must be certified by the Florida Unified Certification Program (UCP) for DBE status.

To search for DBE firms, please click here to access Florida’s DBE Directory. Be sure to check the status of the firms listed in the directory as the directory also contains MBEs and OBEs. Example: UCP Cert. DBE.

Prime contractors: Please use the DBE Utilization Report Form(s) attached below to be filed with your monthly and final invoice submissions.

For a list of DBE certified contractors willing to work in the Polk County area, click here.

Also, please click here for a directory of DBE financial institutions.

DBE Applicants: Please use the form posted at the bottom of this web page.

All questions regarding its certification procedures should be directed to FDOT. Other state certified DBE firms are eligible to participate in the Citrus Connection DBE program.

Citrus Connection strives to make it a priority to include minority, small businesses, and women-owned businesses when seeking goods and services to run their daily operation. As a recipient of federal transit funds, Citrus Connection cannot (and does not) discriminate against any firm based on race, creed, color, sex or national origin. The Citrus Connection DBE Liaison manages and coordinates the overall program, which includes communicating Citrus Connection’s various policies in awarding contracts. Please see below for a copy of the Citrus Connection DBE Program Policy Statement. If you need additional information or have comments regarding our DBE program, please contact:

Marcy Harrison, DBELO
Lakeland Area Mass Transit District d.b.a. Citrus Connection
1212 George Jenkins Blvd.
Lakeland, FL 33815
Phone: (863) 688-1302
E-Mail: mharrison@ridecitrus.com

Citrus Connection Objectives:

(a) To ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of DOT-assisted contracts in the department transit financial assistance programs;
(b) To create a level playing field on which DBEs can compete fairly for DOT-assisted contracts;
(c) To ensure that Citrus Connection’s DBE Program is narrowly tailored in accordance with applicable law;
(d) To ensure that only firms that fully meet the eligibility standards as set forth in 49 CFR Part 26 are permitted to participate as DBEs;
(e) To help remove barriers to the participation of DBEs and SBEs in DOT-assisted contracts; and
(f) To assist in the development of firms that can compete successfully in the marketplace outside the DBE Program.

Citrus Connection DBE Program 2013
Download

DBE-Goal Methodology FY 14-16 Concurrence letter
Download

DBE-Policy-Statement.pdf – Updated on March 18, 2013
Download

DBE Utilization Monthly Report Form – Updated on March 2013(PDF format)
Download

DBE Utilization Final Report Form – Updated on March 2013(PDF format)
Download