To help you maintain compliance with the Department of Transportation Title VI requirements and Circular 4702.1B, Language Scientific offers high-quality translation, on-demand phone interpreting, website translation and localization services for the Transportation industry in over 100 written languages and over 150 spoken languages, including all the major European, Asian, American, African and Middle Eastern languages.

Under Title VI of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Executive Order 13166, the Department of Transportation (DOT) mandates specific language, translation and interpreting requirements for all agencies receiving federal funding. The Federal Transit Authority (FTA) worked with the DOT to release Circular 4702.1B on October 1, 2012 to clarify and explain the DOT and FTA guidelines for Title VI language and translation requirements. The FTA and DOT have provided Circular 4702.1B with appendices of sample checklists, templates, standards, policies, tables and maps to consult when preparing Title VI plans.

Circular 4702.1B Separates Environemental Justice Policy From Title VI

Circular 4702.1B separates Environemental Justice policy from Title VI requirements to avoid confusion. Environmental Justice is based on an Executive Order and applies to all Federal agencies. Title VI is a statute that applies to all recipients of Federal funding. The FTA oversees compliance with Title VI, which in turn helps the FTA remain compliant with the Executive Order.

Who DOT’s Title VI Requirements Under Circular 4702.1B Apply To

The DOT regulations cover all 50 US states plus Puerto Rico and Guam. Part of taking federal funding is finding ways to meet requirements. Anyone receiving FTA DOT funding or any Federal Agency has language requirements.

Circular 4702.1B applies to all recipients of Federal funding, including:

  • Transit agencies
  • Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organizations (MPOs)
  • State DOTs
  • Recipients of special funds such as TIGER and Urban Circulator grants
  • Subrecipients—subrecipients of Federal funding must develop their own Title VI program, but can base their program on the primary recipient’s program
  • Contractors—contractors are obligated to implement the Title VI program of the recipient of Federal Funding

8 Elements All Title VI Programs Must Include

The FTA and DOT require the following eight components be included in every Title VI plan:

    • Notice of Rights under Title VI
    • How to File a Complaint, copy of complaint form
    • List of Title VI investigations, complaints or lawsuits
    • Public Participation Plan
    • LEP Plan
    • Racial Breakdown of Non-elected Advisory Councils
    • Narrative Describing Subrecipient Monitoring
    • Board of Directors resolution or meeting minutes demonstrating the board approved the Title VI Program

Fixed Route Title VI Requirements

Transit Authorities that provide service for 50 or more fixed route vehicles in peak service and are located in an area with a population of 200,000 or more must prepare and provide reports on demographic data including a demographic breakdown of ridership by race, English proficiency, language spoken at home, household income and travel patterns. The results of these reports must be submitted at minimum every three years in the transit authority’s Title VI Program.

DOT Title VI Requirements for LEP Plan

The Department of Transportation Title VI requirements state that transit providers must take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access for limited English proficiency (LEP) individuals to benefits, services, information and other important activities.

Limited English Proficiency (LEP) 4 Factor Analysis

The first step transit agencies must perform in assessing LEP needs is a four factor analysis. In this analysis agencies must assess and report on the following:

  • Languages spoken and to what level—How many LEP people are eligible to be served by and come into contact with the transit agency, and what languages do the LEP populations encountered speak?
  • Contact LEP Ridership has with services—How frequently do LEP people come into contact with transit program?
  • Importance of Service to population—How important is the program, activity or service to the LEP people’s lives?
  • Cost and Resources have—What resources are available for outreach to the LEP population, and what would that outreach cost?

DOT Guidelines for Developing Language Assistance Plan

DOT guidelines are flexible when it comes to developing a Language Assistance Plan, but LEP plans at a minimum must include the results of the Four Factor Analysis with a description of the LEP population served, how language services are provided for each language and how the LEP population is given notice of the availability of language assistance. Further, the Language Assistance Plan must describe how the transit agency will evaluate and update its LEP plan and how it will train employees to provide timely and reasonable language assistance to LEP individuals.

Documents That Must Be Translated

Once the Language Assistance Plan is in place, transit agencies must translate vital documents for all frequently encountered LEP language groups. These vital documents may include:

  • Consent and complaint forms
  • Intake and application forms
  • Written notices of rights
  • Notice of denials, losses, or decreases in benefits or services
  • Notice of person’s rights under Title VI

Safe Harbor

Translations must be in each LEP language group that is 5% or 1,000 people (whichever is less) of the total population eligible to be served. Providing these translations shows compliance and provides a “safe harbor” for transit providers that receive federal funding.

Title VI plan and Circular 4702.1B Implementation

Implementation for Title VI plans is continual under Circular 4702.1B. The timeframe for transportation agencies to submit their program is on a rolling basis. Not all agencies submit at the same time.

Agencies that were to submit their Title VI programs between October 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013 were given the due date of April 1, 2013 to submit their Title VI plans. All other agencies are required to submit their Title VI plans under the new guidelines per their new expiration schedule.

All recipients of federal funding must submit a Title VI Program every three years via TEAM (Transportation Electronic Award and Management), that must be approved by the recipient’s Board of Directors or governing body. Agencies must submit their program with the different elements to the DOT at least 60 days before their previous plan expires on a three year cycle.

Agencies are evaluated on a rolling basis. There are rotating compliance reviews every three years. The FTA may send someone to ride the system and ask for information. Otherwise, the FTA may wait until the transportation agency submits their three year plan.

Penalties For Non-compliance to Title VI and Circular 4702.1B Requirements

Upon review of the transit provider’s Title VI program, the DOT will make a determination that the program is in concurrence, in review or expired. If the program is determined to be in concurrence the DOT will send a concurrence letter.

If the FTA places the transit agency in review, then the FTA will send a letter to notify the agency of the area of review. The FTA may say that it is missing documents and say for example, “You have 60 days to comply.”

If someone complains that there are no services in place, the FTA investigates the complaint and decides what action to take from the agency. Depending on the severity of the violation, the FTA can place restrictions on drawdown of grants or the ability to apply for new grants.

If there is no process in place or there was a grievous mistake, then the FTA can freeze access to federal funds. The FTA can freeze future funds, the ability to apply for future grants and funding, or even freeze all access to current funds.

It is important to note that Circular 4702.1B includes specific steps to be taken before any draw-down restrictions can be placed on transit providers. Also, if remedial action has been taken against an agency for failing to comply with Title VI requirements, then the transit agencies board must submit and show approval for a Remedial Action Plan to rectify the errors.

Language Scientific Helps You Stay Title VI and Circular 4702.1B Compliant

Language Scientific provides full-service translation, interpreting and localization for the transportation industry. We deliver a wide range of services, including:

We work at the intersection of science and language. This is what we do better than anybody else. Our scientists-turned-translators and our project managers understand the complexities of both technical and linguistic challenges. We provide one of the most effective, rapid and customer-focused services in the industry.