Metro Gets Clean Bill Of Civil-Rights Health From Feds

The Federal Transit Administration sent word earlier this week that Metro's Title VI program has finally been approved and is in full compliance, which, according to Metro, is one more step towards getting the all-important Full Funding Agreement from the feds.

Hair Balls has written several things about Metro's non-compliance (until now), starting when Metro received word in April about deficiencies in its civil rights -- Title VI -- program. After writing about some of the complaints against Metro, we found out in July that Metro was still deficient in a couple of areas.

The agency had until the end of this month to fix those problems and did so by providing better documentation to the FTA and by "the development of such programs as a Title VI training program for employees," Metro spokeswoman Raequel Robers told Hair Balls via e-mail.

Roberts added that the fare increase scheduled for the beginning of next year, as well as any change in bus routes or schedules, which happen "several times a year," will follow all Title VI requirements.

If the Title VI approval is, in fact, an indicator that the Full Funding Agreement is coming, this is no small news. Metro needs that agreement to get the $900 million of federal money its expecting for the North and Southeast light rail projects. Roberts said Metro anticipates the funding agreement to be awarded by the end of the year.

"This is a very long and time-consuming process and we are proceeding as scheduled," Roberts said.

She added that plans for the North and Southeast lines are not being delayed because Metro doesn't have the funding agreement.

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