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Resources and Appendices P A R T I I I
57Â Â Acronyms AC AlamedaâContra Costa ACDBE airport concession disadvantaged business enterprise ADA Americans with Disabilities Act AIP Airport Improvement Program APTA American Public Transportation Association BART Bay Area Rapid Transit BIF Business Interruption Fund BSC Business Solution Center CFR Code of Federal Regulations CMAR construction manager at risk CMGC construction manager/general contractor COMTO Conference of Minority Transportation Officials CPP Career Pathways Program DBE disadvantaged business enterprise DOT department of transportation DVBE disabled veteran business enterprise EEO equal employment opportunity EEOC Equal Employment Opportunity Commission FAA Federal Aviation Administration FTA Federal Transit Administration GCRTA Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority HART Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority HR human resources LACMTA Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority LAX Los Angeles International Airport LBE local business enterprise LGBT lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender LGBTQ lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer M/WBE minority and women-owned business enterprise MBE minority business enterprise MBTA Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority MPO metropolitan planning organization MSZ medium-size business enterprise NEPA National Environmental Policy Act ODI Office of Diversity and Inclusion OPM Office of Personnel Management PAAC Port Authority of Allegheny County PPP publicâprivate partnership
58 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry SBE small business enterprise SDVOB service-disabled veteran-owned business TCRP Transit Cooperative Research Program TriMet Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon U.S.C. United States Code WBE womenâs business enterprise WBMLA Women Build Metro Los Angeles WMATA Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
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64 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). n.d.-c. Outreach, Education and Technical Assistance. Office of Inspector General, Washington, DC. https://www.eeoc.gov/outreach-education-technical-assistance. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). n.d.-d. Prohibited Employment Policies/Practices. Office of Inspector General, Washington, DC. https://www.eeoc.gov/prohibited-employment-policiespractices. U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). 2011. Government-Wide Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan 2011. Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Washington, DC. Velasco, G. Aug. 18, 2020. How Transportation Planners Can Advance Racial Equity and Environmental Justice. Urban Wire. https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/how-transportation-planners-can-advance-racial-equity- and-environmental-justice. Wallischeck, E. Y., T. Weisenberger, A. Berthaume, and M. G. Dinning. 2015. TCRP Report 177: Preliminary Strategic Analysis of Next Generation Fare Payment Systems for Public Transportation. Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC. https://doi.org/10.17226/22158. Washington Area Bus Transformation Project. 2020. What Is the Bus Transformation Project? https:// bustransformationproject.com/about/#description. Washington, E., J. Johnson, B. McCloskley, P. Toliver, M. Simon, R. Simon, M. Ford, and C. Washington. 2011. TCRP Report 148: Practical Resources for Recruiting Minorities for Chief Executive Officers at Public Transpor- tation Agencies. Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC. https://doi.org/10.17226/13324. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). 2020. Plans, Policies, Reports: Current initiatives. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. https://www.wmata.com/initiatives/sustainability/ Plans-Policies-Reports.cfm. Welch, T. F. 2013. Equity in Transport: The Distribution of Transit Access and Connectivity Among Affordable Housing Units. Transport Policy, Vol. 30, pp. 283â293. Welch, T. F., and M. Sabyasachee. 2015. A Measure of Equity for Public Transit Connectivity. Journal of Transport Geography, Vol. 33, pp. 29â70. Welle, B., and S. Avelleda. April 23, 2020. Safer, More Sustainable Transport in a Post-COVID-19 World. World Resources Institute. https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/04/coronavirus-public-transport-stimulus-packages. Wilen, H. May 20, 2020. Marylandâs Transportation Trust Fund Faces up to $560 Million Shortfall. Baltimore Business Journal. https://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2020/05/20/maryland-transportation- trust-fund.html. Zhou, J., M. Zhang, and P. Zhu. 2019. The Equity and Spatial Implications of Transit Fare. Transportation Research Part A, Vol. 121, pp. 309â324. Legal/Court Cases Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, 515 U.S. 200 (1995). Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Slater, 228 F.3d 1147, 1177â78 (10th Cir. 2000), cert. granted, 532 U.S. 941 (2001), cert. dismissed, 534 U.S. 103 (2001). American Subcontractors Assân v. City of Atlanta, 376 S.E.2d 662, 664 (Ga. 1989). Associated Gen. Contractors of Am. v. Cal. DOT, 713 F.3d 1187 (9th Cir. 2013). Associated Gen. Contractors of Cal. v. City & County of S. F., 813 F.2d 922, 941â42 (9th Cir. 1987). Associated Gen. Contractors of Ca., Inc. v. Coalition for Economic Equality (AGC of Ca.), 950 F.2d 1401, 1417 (9th Cir. 1991). Bakke v. Regents of Univ. of Cal., 18 Cal. 3d 34, 62 (1976). Brunet v. City of Columbus, 1 F.3d 390, 403â04 (6th Cir. 1993). Builders Assân of Greater Chi. v. City of Chi., 298 F. Supp. 2d 725, 740 (N.D. Ill. 2003). Builders Assân of Greater Chi. v. County of Cook, 256 F.3d 642, 646 (7th Cir. 2001). City of Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co., 488 U.S. 469, 492, 498â501, 504, 506â510 (1989). Concrete Works, Inc. v. City & County of Denver, 36 F.3d 1513, 1519 (10th Cir. 1994). Cone Corp. v. Hillsborough County, 908 F.2d 908, 917 (11th Cir. 1990). Conlin v. Blanchard, 890 F.2d 811 (6th Cir. 1989). Contractors Assân v. City of Phila., 6 F.3d 990, 1000â01 (3d Cir. 1993). Coral Constr. Co. v. King County, 941 F.2d 910, 942 (9th Cir. 1991). Craig v. Boren, 429 U.S. 190 (1976). Davis v. City & County of San Francisco, 890 F.2d 1438, 1448 (9th Cir. 1989). Doe v. Kamehameha Sch./Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate, 470 F.3d 827, 840 (9th Cir. 2006). Donaghy v. Omaha, 933 F.2d 1448, 1459 (8th Cir. 1991). Duckworth v. St. Louis Metro Police Dept., 491 F.3d 401, 406 (8th Cir. 2007). Engineering Contractors Assân v. Metropolitan Dade County, 122 F.3d 895, 907â08 (11th Cir. 1997). Ensley Branch, NAACP v. Seibels, 31 F.3d 1548, 1581, 1569 (11th Cir. 1994).
Bibliography 65Â Â Geyer Signal, Inc., et al. v. Minnesota Department of Transportation, U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43945, n. 4 (2014). Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003). Hayes v. N. State Law Enforcement Officers Assân., 10 F.3d 207, 216 (4th Cir. 1993). Hazelwood Sch. Dist. v. United States, 433 U.S. 299 (1977). H. B. Rowe Co., Inc. v. Tippett, 615 F.3d 233, 52â53 (4th Cir. 2010). Higgins v. City of Vallejo, 823 F.2d 351, 357 (9th Cir. 1987). Johnson v. Transp. Agency, Santa Clara County, 480 U.S. 616, 631â633, 637â640 (1987). Long v. City of Saginaw, 911 F.2d 1192 (6th Cir. 1990). Midwest Fence Corporation v. U.S. Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, 840 F.3d 932, 937â939, 947â954 (7th Cir. 2016). Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan, 458 U.S. 718 (1982). Nguyen v. I.N.S., 533 U.S. 53, 60 (2001). Peightal v. Metro. Dade County, 26 F.3d 1545, 1559 (11th Cir. 1994). Rudebusch v. Hughes, 313 F.3d 506, 520â21 (9th Cir. 2002). Sherbrooke Turf, Inc. v. Minnesota Dept of Transportation, 345 F.3d 972 (8th Cir. 2003). United States v. Paradise, 480 U.S. at 171 (1987). United States v. Secây of Hous. & Urban Dev., 239 F.3d 211, 219 (2d Cir. 2001). United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996). United Steelworkers of America v. Weber, 443 U.S. 193 (1979). Vogel v. City of Cincinnati, 959 F.2d 594 (6th Cir. 1992). Walker v. City of Mesquite, 169 F.3d 973, 982 (5th Cir. 1999). Western States Paving Co. v. Wash. State DOT, 407 F.3d 983, 998 (9th Cir. 2005). Wygant v. Jackson Bd. of Educ., 476 U.S. 267, 286 (1986).
66 Legal Requirements Federal, state and local law place requirements on public agencies providing public trans- portation and constrain the actions of those agencies. Requirements and limitations pertain to equity and inclusion in â¢ Employment, â¢ Contracting, â¢ Service provision, and â¢ Other aspects of operations. Federal, State, and Local Legal Issues Affecting Diversity and Inclusion Efforts Some of the requirements and limitations pertain to any public entity and others specifically apply to recipients of U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) or Federal Transit Administra- tion (FTA) funds. There are many resources pertaining to these topics, including, for example, NCHRP Legal Research Digest 77: Update of Selected Studies in Transportation Law, Vol. 8, Section 1: Civil Rights and Transportation Agencies (Thomas 2019). Federal Requirements Federal requirements apply to different aspects of equity and inclusion in employment, contracting, service provision and other aspects of transit agencies. Employment Transit agencies are prohibited from discriminating against certain groups of individuals in employment. As FTA grantees, agencies must comply with equal employment opportunity (EEO) provisions of federal law, including: â¢ Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA); â¢ Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI); â¢ Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII); â¢ Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of disability for activities that receive federal funding; â¢ Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994; and â¢ Other EEO provisions of federal law including the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimina- tion in Employment Act of 1967, Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, U.S. DOT EEO implementing regulations [(49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 21], and the FTA Master Agreement. A P P E N D I X A
Legal Requirements 67Â Â Groups Considered in the Requirements. Different federal laws prohibit employment discrimination for different groups. For example, Title VI prohibits discrimination based on race, color, and national origin for organizations receiving federal funds [e.g., see regulations at 49 CFR Section 21.5(c)]. Title VII includes these same prohibitions for employers with 15 or more employees and adds prohibition of discrimination on the basis of religion or sex. Federal Transit Laws [49 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 5332] protects each of the above groups from employment discrimination and prohibits discrimination based on disability and age. FTA Circular C 4704.1A explains that protections on the basis of âsexâ under Federal Transit Laws include pregnancy and childbirth, gender identity and sexual orientation (FTA 2016a). Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 also applies to employers with at least 15 employees and prohibits employment discrimination based on genetic infor- mation, including family medical history. Even if a public transportation provider receives its U.S. DOT funds indirectly through its state DOT, it must comply with federal regulations in its employment. Certain regulations extend to companies working on federally funded contracts awarded by public transportation providers. Some of the above requirements have been in place for more than 50 years, and as federal law has evolved, so has FTA guidance to transit agencies regarding compliance. FTA Circular C 4704.1A summarizes requirements for FTA grantees and subgrantees regarding these and other aspects of federal law that prohibits employment discrimination. Employment Goals and Affirmative Action Programs. Title VII also requires virtually all state and local governments to comply with certain employment reporting requirements and to develop affirmative action plans that include goals and timetables to achieve a representative workforce. Contracting Nondiscrimination in contracting is another requirement pertaining to transit agencies when they award contracts using U.S. DOT funds. The federal government requires state and local agencies to operate the U.S. DOTâs Dis- advantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program if they use U.S. DOT funds for transportation projects. Federal regulations governing the federal DBE Program are provided in 49 CFR Part 26. There is also Official U.S. DOT Guidance to state and local agencies operating the program. Some form of these requirements regarding nondiscrimination in contracting have been in place since the 1970s. Groups Considered in the Requirements. The federal DBE Program applies to socially and economically disadvantaged businesses. Under the program, the following racial, ethnic, and gender groups can be presumed to be socially disadvantaged: â¢ Black Americans (or âAfrican Americansâ in this research), â¢ Hispanic Americans, â¢ Native Americans, â¢ Asian Pacific Americans, â¢ Subcontinent Asian Americans, and â¢ Women of any race or ethnicity. The federal DBE Program includes the following elements. Setting an Overall Goal for DBE Participation. Every 3 years, a transit agency must develop an overall annual goal for DBE participation in its FTA-funded contracts (and, separately,
68 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry FHWA-funded contracts, if it receives those funds). The federal DBE Program sets forth the steps an agency must follow in establishing its goal, including development of a âbase figureâ and consideration of possible âStep 2â adjustments to the goal (49 CFR Section 26.45). An agencyâs overall goal for DBE participation is aspirational. Its failure to meet an annual DBE goal does not automatically cause any U.S. DOT penalties unless that agency fails to administer the DBE Program in good faith. However, if an agency does not meet its overall DBE goal, federal regulations require it to analyze the reasons for any shortfall and develop a cor rective action plan to meet the goal in the next fiscal year (49 CFR Section 26.47). Noncompliance can cause suspension of federal funding to the agency. Establishing the Portion of the Overall DBE Goal to Be Met Through Neutral Means. The federal DBE Program allows for state and local governments to operate the program without the use or with limited use of race- or gender-based measures, such as DBE contract goals. According to program regulations 49 CFR Section 26.51, a state or local agency must meet the maximum feasible portion of its overall goal for DBE participation through ârace-neutral means.â Race-neutral program measures include removing barriers to participation and promoting use of small businesses. The federal DBE Program requires agencies to develop programs to assist small businesses (49 CFR Section 26.39). For example, small business preference programs, including reserving contracts on which only small businesses can bid, are allowable under the federal DBE Program. If an agency can meet its goal solely through race-neutral means, it must not use race- conscious program elements. The federal DBE Program requires that an agency project the portion of its overall DBE goal to be met through neutral measures and the portion, if any, to be met through race-conscious measures such as DBE contract goals. The U.S. DOT has out- lined factors for an agency to consider when making that determination (see Appendix D of this report for an in-depth discussion of these factors). Some transit agencies operate a 100% race- and gender-neutral program and do not apply DBE contract goals. Other transit agencies project that they will meet their overall DBE goal through a combination of race-neutral and race-conscious measures. Determining Whether All Racial/Ethnic/Gender Groups Will Be Eligible for Race- or Gender-Conscious Elements of the Federal DBE Program. Certification as a DBE requires the firmâs owner to be both socially and economically disadvantaged. The racial, ethnic, and gender groups presumed to be socially disadvantaged are identified above under âGroups Considered in the Requirements.â To be economically disadvantaged, a company must be below an overall revenue limit and an industry-specific limit, and the firmâs owner(s) must be below personal net worth limits [49 CFR Section 26(d)]. Note that there is a gross receipts limit (currently not more than a $23.98 million annual 3-year average revenue, and lower limits for certain lines of business) and a personal net worth limit (currently $1.32 million, excluding equity in the busi- ness and primary personal residence) that firms and firm owners must fall below to be able to be certified as a DBE. Under 49 CFR Section 26.67(b), a certifying agency may consider other factors to determine whether an individual is able to accumulate substantial wealth, in which certification is denied (annual gross income of the owner and whether the fair market value of the ownerâs assets exceeds $6 million are two such factors that may be considered). White male-owned firms and other ethnicities not listed above can also meet the federal certification requirements and be certified as DBEs if they demonstrate that they are both socially and economically disadvantaged, as described in 49 CFR Section 26.67(d).
Legal Requirements 69Â Â Some transit agencies, especially under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, limit participation in the race- and gender-conscious elements of the program to groups the agency has independently identified as being affected by discrimination affecting that agencyâs contracting. In such instances, only DBEs in the identified groups can count toward meeting an assigned DBE contract goal. Transit agencies and other local and state governments sometimes perform âdisparity studiesâ to determine their overall DBE goal, assess whether race- and gender-conscious program elements are needed, and identify the individual DBE groups to participate in those program components. FTA has provided guidance to transit agencies under the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to perform disparity studies in order to provide information to support operation of the program. Court Challenges. Since the 1980s, there have been lawsuits challenging the constitution- ality of the federal DBE Program and individual state and local agenciesâ implementation of the program. To summarize: â¢ The federal DBE Program has been upheld as valid and constitutional. â¢ For the most part, state and local agencies have been successful in defending against legal challenges. Western States Paving Company, however, was successful in challenging the Washington State DOTâs implementation of the federal DBE Program. â¢ Many state and local agencies, especially those in the West (i.e., states within the Ninth Circuit), made adjustments in their implementation of the federal DBE Program to comply with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in the Western States Paving case, and in accordance with the Official U.S. DOT Guidance issued after the decision. â¢ The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the California DOTâs (Caltransâ) implementation of the federal DBE Program was valid and complied with the decision in Western States Paving. Individual companies and trade associations have also challenged the constitutionality of state or local government minority business enterprise and womenâs business enterprise pro- grams related to non-federally-funded contracts operated by state and local agencies. The legal issues surrounding nonfederal programs that encourage minority- and women-owned business participation in transit agency contracting are discussed later in this appendix. Examples of Neutral Efforts in the Federal DBE Program. Examples of neutral remedies used in operation of the federal DBE Program include the following (Keen et al. 2019): â¢ Provision of classes, training sessions, or online training; â¢ Training academies and general training courses; â¢ One-on-one business assistance from state DOT staff or consultants; â¢ Reimbursement for training or other expenses; â¢ MentorâprotÃ©gÃ© programs; â¢ Business development programs; â¢ Dissemination of a DBE directory; â¢ Routine notification of DBEs of contract opportunities; â¢ Meet-and-greets with public-sector staff; â¢ General networking events with primes; â¢ DBE conferences and events; â¢ Project-specific outreach events; â¢ Prompt payment and return of retainage requirements; â¢ Small contract bidding restricted to small businesses; â¢ Unbundling of contracts suitable for bidding by DBEs as primes; â¢ Small business contract goals; and â¢ Other efforts to increase DBE participation as primes.
70 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry Nondiscrimination Provisions and Prohibitions on Adverse Effects in Transit Activities Federal regulations pertaining to Title VI and environmental justice require certain actions regarding nondiscrimination and avoiding adverse effects on certain groups across all transit agency activities. Section 601 of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. It also prohibits exclusion from participation in or being denied the benefits of any such program or activity on the basis of these personal characteristics. Executive Order 12898, âFederal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations,â was signed in 1994. U.S. DOT Order 5610.2(a) âActions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Popula- tionsâ outlines how it applies environmental justice principles [77 FR 27534 (May 10, 2012)]. Any transit agency receiving FTA funds must incorporate environmental justice principles into its transportation decision-making and environmental review. Groups Considered in the Requirements. As summarized above, Title VI focuses on nondiscrimination based on race, color, and national origin (the particular nation in which a person was born or where the personâs parents or ancestors were born). It also pertains to denial of meaningful access for persons with limited English proficiency. Environmental justice regulations pertain to actions that will have a disproportionately high and adverse effect on minority populations or low-income populations. Definitions of âminority personsâ in FTA Circular C 4703.1 (FTA 2012a) are as follows: â¢ American Indian and Alaska Native; â¢ Asian; â¢ Black or African American; â¢ Hispanic or Latino; and â¢ Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. FTA Circular C 4703.1 explains that âlow-income populationsâ generally means a group of low-income persons who live in geographic proximity. âLow-incomeâ is defined as median household income at or below the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines (FTA 2012a). Prohibited Actions. Beyond the differences in groups included in the regulations, Title VI and environmental justice regulations have a somewhat different focus. Title VI prohibits practices that have discriminatory effects. FTA Circular C 4702.1B (FTA 2012b) includes the following definition of discrimination: Any action or inaction, whether intentional or unintentional, in any program or activity of a Federal aid recipient, subrecipient, or contract that results in disparate treatment, disparate impact, or perpetuating the effects of prior discrimination based on race, color, or national origin. âDisparate treatmentâ is defined as [a]ctions that result in circumstances where similarly situated persons are intentionally treated differently (i.e., less favorably) than others because of their race, color, or national origin. âDisparate impactâ is defined as [a] facially neutral policy or practices that disproportionately affects members of a group identified by race, color, or national origin, where the recipientâs policy or practices lacks a substantial legitimate justification and where there exists one or more alternatives that would serve the same legitimate objectives but with less disproportionate effect on the basis of race, color, or national origin.
Legal Requirements 71Â Â Under Title VI, intentional discrimination based on race, color, or national origin is prohib- ited. Facially neutral (i.e., unintentional) actions that result in discrimination (defined above) on the basis of race, color, or national origin also violate U.S. DOT regulations âunless the recipient can show the policies or practices are substantially justified and there is no less discriminatory alternativeâ (FTA 2012b, p. 6). Environmental justice regulations only allow U.S. DOT programs, policies, or activities that have a disproportionately high and adverse effect on targeted groups if âfurther mitigation measures or alternatives that would reduce the disproportionately high and adverse effects are not practicableâ (FTA 2012a, p. 5). The regulations go on to state that âsocial, economic (including costs) and environmental effects of avoiding or mitigating the adverse effects will be taken into accountâ when determining whether mitigation or an alternative is âpracticable.â FTA Circular C 4703.1 (FTA 2012a) defines âdisproportionately high and adverse effectâ as an effect on a minority population or low-income population that: â¢ Is predominantly borne by that population or â¢ Will be suffered by that population and is appreciably more severe or greater in magnitude than the adverse effect that will be suffered by the nonminority population and/or non- low-income population. In sum, federal Title VI and environmental justice regulations overlap but are still distinct, as they apply to different groups and different types of impacts. FTA Circulars C 4703.1 and C 4702.1B (FTA 2012a, 2012b) explain the commonalities and differences in how transit agencies need to respond to these regulations. Service and Fare Equity Analysis. This appendix does not cover every aspect of a transit agencyâs operations affected by Title VI and environmental justice regulations, which are very broad. One aspect of these regulations merits further explanation: requirements regarding equity in services and fares for fixed-route transit providers. Regulations in Section (3)(iii) Appendix C to 49 CFR Part 21 provide that: [n]o person or group of persons shall be discriminated against with regard to the routing, scheduling, or quality of service of transportation service furnished as a part of the project on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Frequency of service, age and quality of vehicles assigned to routes, quality of stations servicing different routes, and location of routes may not be determined on the basis of race, color, or national origin. FTA Circular C 4702.1B explains that, to comply, all fixed-route transit providers must set service standards and policies for each mode of service that identify how âservice is distributed across the transit system, and must ensure that the manner of the distribution affords users access to these assetsâ (FTA 2012b). This requirement extends to service policies âto ensure service design and operations practices do not result in discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin.â FTA Circular C 4702.1B places requirements on transit providers that operate fixed-route service (FTA 2012b). Although these requirements do not apply to providers that (a) only operate demand response services and (b) nonprofits that only serve their own riders and not the general public, there are other requirements (including ADA) for these providers. Basic requirements pertain to any fixed-route service transit provider. All fixed-route providers must develop quantitative standards for service for each fixed-route mode regarding: â¢ Vehicle load for peak and off-peak hours (for example, ratio of riders to number of seats), â¢ Vehicle headway (amount of time between transit vehicles traveling in the same direction on a transit line),
72 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry â¢ On-time performance (percentage of runs completed as scheduled), and â¢ Service availability (for example, the percentage of all residents in the service area who are within a certain distance of the transit service). They must also develop a policy for the following service indicators: â¢ Distribution of transit amenities for each mode (seating at stops/stations, shelters and cano- pies, provision of information, escalators, elevators, and waste receptacles); and â¢ Vehicle assignment for each mode (age and type of vehicle or type of service provided). All fixed-route operators must develop Title VI programs that outline systemwide service standards and policies. Additional requirements apply to transit providers that operate 50 or more fixed-route vehicles in peak service and are located in an urbanized area with a population of 200,000 or more. Title VI plans for larger operators must add â¢ Demographic analysis of the service area (including demographic and service profile maps and charts), â¢ Data regarding customer demographics and travel patterns collected from passenger surveys (race, color, national origin, English proficiency, language spoken at home, household income, and travel patterns), â¢ Results of the monitoring program of service standards and policies (including analysis of performance regarding disproportionately minority-serving routes compared with nonminority- serving routes), â¢ Description of the public engagement process for setting the major service change policy and disparate impact policy, and â¢ Results of equity analyses that examine effects of major services changes and/or fare changes (including analysis of any disparate impacts of service or fare changes on the basis of race, color, or national origin). Larger operators must also document their boardâs awareness and approval of related policies and equity analyses. Although low-income populations are not included under Title VI, FTA Circular C 4702.1B requires transit providers to evaluate service equity for low-income populations, including whether they will bear a disproportionate burden of service or fare changes (FTA 2012b). Incorporating Environmental Justice Principles into the NEPA Process. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires consideration of environmental and other impacts in decision-making regarding major federal actions (42 U.S.C. Section 4321 et seq.). Federal regulations direct agencies to take certain actions, including examining ways to âavoid, minimize, or mitigate adverse effects of these actions upon the quality of the human environmentâ (40 CFR Section 1500.s); consider the âsocial, economic, and environmental impacts of the proposed transportation improvementâ (23 CFR Section 771); and encourage public involvement in these decisions (40 CFR Section 1500.2). Executive Order 12898 directs agencies to ensure that environmental reviews under NEPA address disproportionately high and adverse effects on minority populations and low-income populations. FTA Circular C 4703.1 describes how environmental justice should be addressed in all NEPA decision-making for projects involving federal funding (FTA 2012a). FTA has issued regulations in 23 CFR Part 771 that address review under NEPA. A review can take the form of an environ- mental impact statement, environmental assessment, or categorical exclusion, which describes actions that do not have a significant environmental effect.
Legal Requirements 73Â Â FTA Circular C 4703.1 (FTA 2012a) summarizes the steps that an agency should take as follows: â¢ Define the project area and identify environmental justice populations and â¢ Identify adverse environmental effects on environmental justice populations (examples include health and environmental risks, effects on aesthetic values, disruption of community cohesion or economic vitality, displacement of people or businesses, and increased isolation of minority or low-income individuals within a community or from the broader community). Examining effects on minority and low-income populations includes review of short- and long-term effects and any mitigation and enhancement measures. Effects can include both adverse effects and positive benefits. FTA Circular C 4703.1 directs agencies to consider âthe totality of the circumstancesâ before determining whether there will be disproportionately high and adverse effects on minority populations or low-income populations (FTA 2012a, p. 46). Nondiscrimination in Service Provision for Persons with Disabilities In addition to prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, providers of transportation services must ensure their services, vehicles, and facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities. In contrast to the requirements related to environmental justice, all types and sizes of transit services providers must comply. Certain requirements extend to a private entity for fixed-route or demand response service that enters an agreement to provide those services for a public transit agency (49 CFR Section 37.23). FTA Circular C 4710.1 explains requirements for transit agencies emerging from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (FTA 2015). Federal regulations are set forth in 49 CFR Parts 27, 37, 38, and 39. Groups Considered in the Requirements. Disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual. Further âphysical or mental impairmentâ includes a physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting the body as well as any mental or psychological disorder. The definitions specifically include emotional illness, drug addiction and alcoholism (49 CFR Section 37.3). Requirements and Prohibited Actions. In addition to providing services, there are requirements for a transit provider regarding â¢ Use and maintenance of accessibility-related equipment or features (such as lifts, ramps, lighting, elevators, platforms, and signage), â¢ Allowing service animals to accompany individuals with disabilities (a âservice animalâ is defined as an animal individually trained to work or perform tasks), â¢ Allowing an individual with a disability to travel with a respirator or portable oxygen supply (with certain restrictions), â¢ Providing information to individuals with disabilities through accessible formats and technology, â¢ Providing training to transit personnel about proper assistance for persons with disabilities, and â¢ Making reasonable modifications in policies and practices to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability (with certain exceptions). There are certain situations in which a transit provider can deny service, such as when the âindividual engages in violent, seriously disruptive, or illegal conduct, or represents a direct threat to the health or safety of othersâ [49 CFR Section 37.5(h)].
74 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry FTA Circular C 4710.1 (FTA 2015) also provides information specific to â¢ New construction of transportation facilities and alterations of existing facilities; â¢ Design of new, used, and remanufactured transit vehicles; â¢ Service provision on fixed routes (such as priority seating and stop announcements); â¢ Provision of demand response services and paratransit services; â¢ Services provided by passenger ferries; â¢ Transit services provided by monorails, trams, and other less-common vehicles; and â¢ Processes for tracking and resolving complaints from persons with disabilities. Federal, State, and Local Limitations Regarding Race and Gender Preferences in Employment and Contracting Public-sector decision-making that considers factors such as race or gender can also be subject to legal challenge in federal or state court. These legal constraints differ by group (e.g., race compared with gender or physical ability) and by state. For example, states such as Arizona, California, Louisiana, and Washington prohibit or limit a state or local govern- mentâs use of preferences based on race in employment and contracting (unless required to receive federal funds). These issues, which are extensive and merit consideration in their own research, are only summarized here. Title VII Although Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race and gender, a voluntary race- or gender-conscious program is permissible if (a) there is a showing of a âmanifest imbalanceâ in the work force, (b) the plan does not âunnecessarily trammelâ the rights of members of the nonpreferred class or âcreate an absolute bar to their advancement,â and (c) the plan does no more than is necessary to attain a balance [Doe v. Kamehameha Sch./ Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate, 470 F.3d 827, 840 (9th Cir. 2006) (citing Rudebusch v. Hughes, 313 F.3d 506, 520â21 (9th Cir. 2002)]. This analysis is the same for distinctions based on race or gender (Rudebusch, 313 F.3d at 520). Pertinent court cases also include Johnson v. Transp. Agency, Santa Clara County, 480 U.S. 616, 631 (1987) and United Steelworkers of America v. Weber, 443 U.S. 193 (1979). Manifest Imbalance. According to U.S. Supreme Court precedent, to justify a race- or gender-conscious program, there must be a âmanifest imbalanceâ that reflects underrepresentation of minorities or women in âtraditionally segregated job categoriesâ (Rudebusch, 313 F.3d at 520). More recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has stated the requirement more simply as a âmanifest imbalance in the work forceâ (Doe, 470 F.3d at 840; Rudebusch, 313 F.3d at 521). This standard ensures that race or gender will be considered in a manner consistent with Title VIIâs purpose of eliminating the effects of employment discrimination while ensuring that the inter- ests of nonpreferred individuals will not be unduly infringed [Johnson, 480 U.S. at 632; Davis v. City & County of San Francisco, 890 F.2d 1438, 1448 (9th Cir. 1989)]. For jobs that do not require special expertise or for job training programs, the court compares the percentage of minorities or women in the workforce with the percentage in the area labor market or general population (Johnson, 480 U.S. at 631â32 & n.10; Davis, 890 F.2d at 1448). For jobs requiring special expertise, the comparison is with the labor force possessing the relevant qualifications (Johnson, 480 U.S. at 632). Statistics are used to establish a manifest imbalance (Johnson, 480 U.S. at 630, 632â33 n.11). The employer need not point to its own prior discriminatory practices (Johnson, 480 U.S. at 630, 632â33 n.11).
Legal Requirements 75Â Â In the case of a voluntary race- or gender-conscious program, as long as there is a âstatistical imbalance,â the statistics do not need to meet the higher âprima facieâ evidentiary standard required under the Equal Protection Clause (Johnson, 480 U.S. at 632â33 & n.11). As the U.S. Supreme Court explained in Johnson v. Transp. Agency, Santa Clara County, application of the âprima facieâ standard in Title VII cases âcould inappropriately create a significant disincen- tive for employers to adopt an affirmative action planâ (Johnson, 480 U.S. at 632â33). However, the Supreme Court has not defined what is mathematically required to establish a âmanifestâ or âstatisticalâ imbalance. Regardless of what is required to show such an imbalance under Title VII, employers will have to meet the higher âprima facieâ evidentiary standard, since individuals seeking to challenge the program would likely bring claims under both Title VII and the Equal Protection Clause. That higher âprima facieâ standard is discussed in the constitutional analysis section of this appendix. Unnecessary Trammel. A plan is less likely to âunnecessarily trammelâ the rights of the nonpreferred class if there are no quotas, race and/or gender is only one factor that is considered, and minorities and women must be qualified and must compete with other qualified applicants [Johnson, 480 U.S. at 637â38; Higgins v. City of Vallejo, 823 F.2d 351, 357 (9th Cir. 1987)]. Title VII does not prohibit quotas in race- or gender-conscious plans. For example, in United Steelworkers of America v. Weber, the Supreme Court upheld a plan requiring that 50% of new trainees be black [443 U.S. at 199, 208; see also Davis, 890 F.2d at 1448â49 (affirming voluntary consent decree mandating the promotion of a certain number of minorities, following Weber)]. Because Weber involved a private, not public, employer, there was no equal protection analysis (443 U.S. at 200). However, quotas will likely run afoul of the Equal Protection Clause [Bakke v. Regents of Univ. of Cal., 18 Cal. 3d 34, 62 (1976)]. Further, in the post-Weber Title VII case of Johnson v. Transp. Agency, Santa Clara County, the Supreme Court emphasized the lack of quotas. Thus, it is best for a public agency to steer clear of quotas and focus on race and/or gender as one of many factors in evaluating qualified candidates. Another factor relevant to the âunnecessarily trammelâ analysis is whether the plaintiff has âabsolute entitlementâ to the position (Johnson, 480 U.S. at 638; Higgins, 823 F.2d at 357). For example, if the decision-maker has authority to promote or hire from the top candidates who receive the highest score on an exam or interview, then the number one candidate obviously is not entitled to the position (Johnson, 480 U.S. at 638; Higgins, 823 F.2d at 357). Further, at least in the context of promotions, the people who are not promoted should still retain their same jobs, salaries, seniority, and eligibility for future promotions (Johnson, 480 U.S. at 638; Higgins, 823 F.2d at 357). Attain a Balance. A plan should be temporary and designed to âattain a balanced work force,â but ânot to maintain oneâ (Johnson, 480 U.S. at 639; Doe, 470 F.3d at 840). Plans with a stated goal of attaining a balanced work force, and with a case-by-case approach that will lead to gradual changesâlike those in which race and gender are the only factors to be considered for qualified applicantsâdo not need a specific end date or an express assurance to show they are temporary (Johnson, 480 U.S. at 639â40; Higgins, 823 F.2d at 357). If a program has quotas (which, as noted, is not recommended), then it should contain an end date to ensure it is temporary (Johnson, 480 U.S. at 639â40). Constitutional Standards for Affirmative Action Programs The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution also affects the ability of any government entity to use race as a factor in its decision-making. For public transit agencies, this limits voluntary affirmative action programs for employment and minority business enterprise programs related to their non-U.S. DOT-funded contracts.
76 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry In City of Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co., 488 U.S. at 469 (1989), the U.S. Supreme Court held that local governments may utilize racial classifications only to serve a compelling state interest, and then the method chosen must be narrowly tailored to serve that interest. Thus, the constitu- tional standard applicable to federal, state, or local governmental programs creating preferences based on race and ethnicity is the strict scrutiny test. While imposing a substantial burden, the Croson Court stated that nothing from its decision âprecludes a state or local entity from taking action to rectify the effects of identified discrimination within its jurisdiction. . . . In the extreme case, some form of narrowly tailored racial preference might be necessary to break down patterns of deliberate exclusionâ (Croson, 488 U.S. at 509). Under the strict scrutiny standard of judicial review, a court evaluates whether the race-based program (a) serves a âcompelling governmental interestâ and (b) is ânarrowly tailoredâ to satisfy that interest (Croson, 488 U.S. at 469). Compelling Governmental Interest. Although Croson requires that a public employer must have a âstrong basis in evidenceâ of discrimination when defending an affirmative action plan, the Supreme Court has never required that, before implementing affirmative action, the employer must have already proved that it has discriminated. On the contrary, the Supreme Court has held that formal findings of discrimination need neither precede nor accompany the adop- tion of affirmative action (Wygant v. Jackson Bd. of Educ., 476 U.S. 267, 286). The Supreme Court has required a public employer defending an affirmative action plan to show only that it has âa âstrong basis in evidence for its conclusion that remedial action was necessaryââ [see Croson, 488 U.S. at 500, 109 S. Ct. at 725 (quoting Wygant, 476 U.S. at 277, plurality opinion); see also Donaghy v. Omaha, 933 F.2d 1448, 1459 (8th Cir. 1991)]. One way a governmental entity can meet its evidentiary showing is by demonstrating gross statistical disparities between the proportion of minorities hired and the proportion of minori- ties willing to do the work (Croson, 488 U.S. at 509). Additionally, a government entity may establish its compelling interest by presenting evidence of its own direct participation in racial discrimination or its passive participation in private discrimination in a system of racial exclusion practiced by elements of a local industry (Croson, 488 U.S. at 492). Courts have thus upheld remedial affirmative action plans in which the public entity pre- sented evidence of a âstatistical disparity between the number of qualified minority contractors willing and able to perform a particular service and the number of such contractors actually engaged by the locality or the localityâs prime contractorsâ (Croson, 488 U.S. at 509). Narrowly Tailored. Even if a jurisdiction has a strong basis in evidence to believe that race- based measures are needed to remedy identified discrimination, the program must be narrowly tailored to that evidence. Under the strict scrutiny test, âthe means chosen [must] âfitâ [the] compelling goal so closely that there is little or no possibility that the motive for the classifica- tion was illegitimate racial prejudice or stereotypeâ (Croson, 488 U.S. at 492; see also, Engineering Contractors Assân v. Metropolitan Dade County, 122 F.3d at 906). Croson sets forth four factors for determining whether a race-based affirmative action program is narrowly tailored: 1. The utilization of race-neutral measures prior to the adoption of a race-conscious measure, 2. The basis offered for the percentage selected, 3. The presence of waivers and flexibility, and 4. Whether the ordinance or statute is geographically tailored and not overinclusive (Croson, 488 U.S. at 507â508). Consideration of race-neutral alternatives prior to the adoption of race-conscious measures is critical. In H. B. Rowe Co., Inc. v. Tippett, 615 F.3d 233, 52â53 (4th Cir. 2010), the court concluded that the State of North Carolina gave serious good faith consideration to race-neutral alternatives prior to adopting its statutory scheme that required a contractor to demonstrate
Legal Requirements 77Â Â âgood faith effortsâ to obtain a predesignated level of minority participation in a state-funded road construction project contract. The State of North Carolina had set up a small business program that favored small businesses for highway construction procurement contracts of $500,000 or less. The program also allowed a waiver to institutional barriers of bonding and licensing requirements on such contracts and sought to assist disadvantaged business enter- prises with bookkeeping, accounting, marketing, bidding, and other aspects of entrepreneurial development. Race-based programs and remedies must also maintain flexibility with regard to local condi- tions in the public and private sectors [see, e.g., Midwest Fence Corporation v. U.S. Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, 840 F.3d 932, 937â939, 947â954 (7th Cir. 2016); H. B. Rowe, 615 F.3d at 252â255; Sherbrooke Turf, Inc. v. Minnesota Dept of Transportation, 345 F.3d at 971â972; Associated Gen. Contractors of Ca., Inc. v. Coalition for Economic Equality (AGC of Ca.), 950 F.2d 1401, 1417 (9th Cir. 1991); Coral Constr. Co. v. King County, 941 F.2d 910, 942 (9th Cir. 1991); Cone Corp. v. Hillsborough County, 908 F.2d 908, 917 (11th Cir. 1990)]. Courts have thus suggested project-by-project goal setting and waiver provisions [see, e.g., Builders Assân of Greater Chi. v. City of Chi., 298 F. Supp. 2d 725, 740 (N.D. Ill. 2003) (âWaivers are rarely or never granted. . . . The City pro- gram is a rigid numerical quota . . . formulistic percentages cannot survive strict scrutiny.â)] as a means of ensuring fairness to all vendors [Sherbrooke, 345 F. 3d at 972, quoting Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003); see also Coral Constr., 941 F.2d at 923]. Also, âreviewâ or âsunsetâ provisions are strongly suggested components for a race-based program to guarantee that remedies do not outlive their intended remedial purpose [Peightal v. Metro. Dade County, 26 F.3d 1545, 1559 (11th Cir. 1994)]. Finally, a race-based program must be limited in its geo- graphical scope to the boundaries of the enacting jurisdiction (Coral Constr., 941 F.2d at 925) and its remedies should only be available to groups for which there was evidence of discrimina- tion [Associated Gen. Contractors of Am. v. Cal. DOT, 713 F.3d 1187, 1198â1199 (9th Cir. 2013)]. [See also, e.g., H. B. Rowe, 615 F.3d at 252â255; Western States Paving Co. v. Wash. State DOT, 407 F.3d 983, 998 (9th Cir. 2005); Sherbrooke Turf, Inc., 2001 WL 1502841 (unpublished opinion), affâd 345 F.3d 964 (8th Cir. 2003); AGC of Ca., 950 F.2d at 1417]. Gender-Based Programs. The U.S. Supreme Court has remained silent with respect to the appropriate standard of review for gender-conscious programs such as gender preferences in employment or voluntary women-owned business enterprise programs for non-federally- funded contracts. Because the only guidance the Supreme Court has provided for deciding affirmative action cases comes from opinions analyzing race-based programs under strict scrutiny, the proper level of scrutiny for analyzing gender-based affirmative action is unclear. In other contexts, however, the Supreme Court has ruled that gender classifications are not subject to the rigorous strict scrutiny standard applied to racial classifications. Instead, gender classifications are subject only to an âintermediateâ level of review, regardless of which gender is favored [see, e.g., Craig v. Boren, 429 U.S. 190 (1976) (finding statutory sex classifications subject to inter- mediate scrutiny); Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan, 458 U.S. 718 (1982) (requiring an âexceedingly persuasive justificationâ for sex-based classification to be valid); United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996) (applying the standard of âexceedingly persuasive justificationâ in striking down Virginia Military Instituteâs males only admissions policy)]. Lower courts are thus split on this issue. The Sixth Circuit, as well as the Georgia Supreme Court, have subjected gender-based affir- mative action programs to strict scrutiny while analyzing all other gender-based classifications under intermediate scrutiny [see Brunet v. City of Columbus, 1 F.3d 390, 403â04 (6th Cir. 1993); Vogel v. City of Cincinnati, 959 F.2d 594 (6th Cir. 1992); Long v. City of Saginaw, 911 F.2d 1192 (6th Cir. 1990); Conlin v. Blanchard, 890 F.2d 811 (6th Cir. 1989); American Subcontractors
78 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry Assân v. City of Atlanta, 376 S.E.2d 662, 664 (Ga. 1989) (applying strict scrutiny to programs favoring minority- and female-owned enterprises in awarding city contracts)]. In contrast, the Third, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits used intermediate scrutiny to analyze all gender-based classifications, including affirmative action [see Contractors Assân v. City of Phila., 6 F.3d 990, 1000â01 (3d Cir. 1993); Coral Constr., 941 F.2d at 930; Concrete Works, Inc. v. City & County of Denver, 36 F.3d 1513, 1519 (10th Cir. 1994); Engineering Contractors Assân v. Metropolitan Dade County, 122 F.3d 895, 907â08 (11th Cir. 1997), cert. denied, 118 S. Ct. 1186 (1998); Ensley Branch, NAACP v. Seibels, 31 F.3d 1548 (11th Cir. 1994)]. The Eighth Circuit has similarly held that programs with gender-based classifications should be evaluated for constitutionality under the more relaxed level of intermediate scrutiny [see Geyer Signal, Inc., et al. v. Minnesota Department of Transportation, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43945, n. 4 (2014) (âThe DBE Program also contains a gender-conscious provision, a classification that would be subject to intermediate scrutiny.â), (citing Nguyen v. I.N.S., 533 U.S. 53, 60 (2001); see also Duckworth v. St. Louis Metro Police Dept., 491 F.3d 401, 406 (8th Cir. 2007) (âFor a gender- based classification to withstand equal protection scrutiny, it must be established at least that the challenged classification serves important governmental objectives and that the discriminatory means employed are substantially related to the achievement of those objectives.â)]. Because the measure of evidence required to satisfy intermediate scrutiny is less than that necessary to satisfy strict scrutiny, courts applying the intermediate standard to gender-based programs have all reasoned that affirmative action may be upheld even absent proof that the government entity adopting the program necessarily discriminated against women (Coral Constr., 941 F.2d at 931â932; see Engineering Contractors Assân, 122 F.3d at 910). Under inter- mediate scrutiny, the âinquiry turns on whether there is evidence of past discrimination in the economic sphere at which the affirmative action program is directedâ (Engineering Contractors Assân, 122 F.3d at 910, quoting Ensley Branch, 31 F.3d at 1581). In addition, under intermediate scrutiny, the program need only be âsubstantially relatedâ to the goal of redressing the effects of prior discrimination, and, contrary to strict scrutiny, this does not require that the numerical goals be closely tied to the proportion of qualified women in the market (Engineering Contractors Assân, 122 F.3d at 929). Further, because there is no require- ment that gender classifications be ânarrowly tailored,â the preference may extend to some fields in which women were not disadvantaged, provided that, overall, the women benefited actually suffered a disadvantage [Coral Constr., 941 F.2d at 932 (holding that King Countyâs preference for women was justified even if it included women in all industries contracting with the county); Associated Gen. Contractors of Cal. v. City & County of S. F., 813 F.2d 922, 941â42 (9th Cir. 1987) (holding that although broad preferences can reinforce harmful stereotypes, they may still be upheld because, unlike racial preferences, there is no requirement that they be ânarrowlyâ tai- lored to the governmentâs objective)]. Two principal guidelines thus mark the boundaries of intermediate scrutiny evidentiary analysis. First, there must be sufficiently probative evidence of âsocietal discriminationâ against women in the ârelevant economic sectorâ (Engineering Contractors, 122 F.3d at 910). Second, the evidence must âshow that the preference rests on evidence-informed analysis rather than on stereotypical generalizationsâ (Engineering Contractors, 122 F.3d at 910). Sufficiently probative evidence of gender discrimination can support remedial actions by a government, provided that the means are substantially related to the important state interest of ameliorating such discrimination. Means that are âsubstantially relatedâ to the important interest of remedying gender discrimination generally include gender-neutral provisions to encourage the participation of women, flexible participation goals rather than fixed quotas
Legal Requirements 79Â Â that are tied to the particular industry or economic sector where the discrimination exists, and some type of mechanism to either track the persistence of discrimination or limit the programâs duration. Requisite Statistical Data and Anecdotal Evidence to Justify Racial and Gender Preferences Under Croson. Because the remedying of past discrimination is widely accepted as a compel- ling interest, âthe true test of an affirmative action program is . . . the adequacy of the evidence of discrimination offered to show that interestâ [United States v. Paradise, 480 U.S. at 171 (1987) (plurality opinion); see, e.g., United States v. Secây of Hous. & Urban Dev., 239 F.3d 211, 219 (2d Cir. 2001); Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Slater, 228 F.3d 1147, 1177â78 (10th Cir. 2000), cert. granted, 532 U.S. 941 (2001), cert. dismissed, 534 U.S. 103 (2001) (per curiam); Walker v. City of Mesquite, 169 F.3d 973, 982 (5th Cir. 1999); Ensley Branch, 31 F.3d at 1569; Hayes v. N. State Law Enforcement Officers Assân, 10 F.3d 207, 216 (4th Cir. 1993)]. Under strict scrutiny, a govern- ment entity must have had a âstrong basis in evidenceâ for it to conclude that race-based remedial action was necessary [Croson, 488 U.S. at 500, quoting Wygant, 476 U.S. at 277 (1986) (plurality opinion) (internal quotation marks omitted)]. Indeed, a strong basis in evidence is required for a government to demonstrate both a compelling interest and a narrowly tailored remedy [see Croson, 488 U.S. at 510 (âProper findings in this regard are necessary to define both the scope of the injury and the extent of the remedy necessary to cure its effects.â)]. The Croson Court recognized that this countryâs history of private and public discrimination âhas contributed to a lack of opportunities for black [and other minority] entrepreneursâ (Croson, 488 U.S. at 499). Nevertheless, it held that an âamorphous claimâ of past discrimina- tion within an industry is insufficient (Croson, 488 U.S. at 498). Consequently, Croson rejected as insufficient evidence of discrimination the district courtâs finding that minority businesses received less than 1% of the cityâs prime contracts, even though minorities constituted one-half of its population [see Croson, 488 U.S. at 499â500. The Court observed that â[i]t is sheer speculation how many minority firms there would be in Richmond absent past societal discrimination. . . . Defining these sorts of injuries as âidentified discriminationâ would give local governments license to create a patchwork of racial preferences based on statistical generalizations about any particular field of endeavor.â]. The Court found such a comparison to the general population of âlittle probative valueâ when âspecial qualifications are required to fill particular jobs,â such as public construction projects [Croson, 488 U.S. at 501, quoting Hazelwood Sch. Dist. v. United States, 433 U.S. 299, 307â08 (1977) (internal quotation marks omitted)]. To show discriminatory exclusion in a field requiring special skills, the relevant group for comparison, therefore, is the number of qualified minorities (Croson, 488 U.S. at 501â020). Furthermore, it is not enough to demonstrate nationwide discrimination in the construction industry; rather, policy makers must have a âstrong basis in evidenceâ of discrimination within the relevant local industry (see Croson, 488 U.S. at 504). Moreover, to satisfy either the compelling-interest or narrow-tailoring prong of strict scrutiny, a government must have a strong basis in evidence of discrimination against each racial group included in the remedial plan (see Croson, 488 U.S. at 506). Thus, for example, if a government has sufficient evidence of discrimination against only African American contractors, it may not include other minority groups as beneficiaries in a contract-preference program [see Croson, 488 U.S. at 506; Builders Assân of Greater Chi. v. County of Cook, 256 F.3d 642, 646 (7th Cir. 2001)]. Government entities wishing to implement race- and/or gender-conscious programs must construct a strong evidentiary framework to stave off legal challenges and ensure compliance with the stringent requirements of Crosonâs strict scrutiny standard. Groupâs Preferences for Other. A preference program for public agency employment or contracting can be legally challenged, even if the program does not consider race, ethnicity,
80 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry or gender. However, such programs are much more easily defended. The public entity generally need only show that it has a ârational basisâ for such a program, depending upon its components and how it is implemented. Needing only to meet the rational basis test makes it easier to defend public-sector employ- ment preferences for persons with disabilities, veterans, or other groups not defined on the basis of race, ethnicity, or gender. Contracting programs that give preferences or set goals for companies owned by groups such as persons with disabilities, veterans, or service-disabled veterans would be more easily defended than programs that provide preferences to minority- or women-owned businesses. It is important to note that legal restrictions can apply to preferences based on the geographic location of the individual or business. Also, some types of geographic preferences are prohib- ited when federal funds are being used.
81Â Â Literature Review The research team began this project by reviewing TRB and other research regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion. This research focused on workforce, procurement, and other issues for transit agencies as well as examples of work regarding other types of organizations. As this area of research is extensive, the literature review focuses on three areas: â¢ TRB literature on diversity, equity, and inclusion (across topic areas), â¢ Other research regarding employment, and â¢ Research on other equity issues pertaining to transit agencies. TRB Literature on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Considerable TRB-sponsored research examines issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion related to transportation. Workforce Diversity The research team examined the following TRB research published since 2000 on workforce diversity for transit agencies. TCRP Synthesis 46 TCRP Synthesis 46: Diversity Training Initiatives summarizes diversity training initiatives in transit agencies and includes a literature review, data collected via survey responses from 22 transit agencies, and the findings of 10 case examples (Simpson 2003). Research collected from participants indicated that diversity initiatives successfully increased the recruitment, retention, and promotion of women and minorities in the transit industry. Additionally, these diversity efforts were associated with improved customer satisfaction. Overall, respondents reported a commitment to diversity throughout the public transit organization, including management, operations, and service provision. Although the research found that most diversity initiatives were driven by the human resources department, there was also strong commitment to diversity among agency leadership, includ- ing board members, executives, and general managers. Commitment to diversity was seen in diversity statements in agency publications, along with print media and mission and value statements. The sense that diversity improved business was seen through emphasis on diversity in policies, procedures, and strategic business plans. TCRP Synthesis 46 also found that diversity initiatives within the transit industry varied. The author cites variation within policy development and a lack of standardization with regard to diversity programs. A P P E N D I X B
82 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry The author notes that diversity trainings, âhave moved beyond race and sex to incorporate cultural, religious, geographic, economic, socioeconomic, and political differences, as well as consideration of people with varying abilities and disabilitiesâ (Simpson 2003, p.Â 3). Also noted is that many transit agencies have diversity plans, committees, task forces, or staffed positions to focus on the implementation of diversity initiatives within their organization. Additionally, this synthesis report explains the importance of diversity within the transit industry to improv- ing both business and the workplace. TCRP Synthesis 46 includes a review of various definitions of diversity utilized by scholars as well as private and public agencies. Many definitions of diversity include a broad range of group or individual differences, differences in identity, and âotherness.â Some include different dimensions of diversity, with the primary characteristics including age, gender, race/ethnicity, physical and mental ability, and sexual orientation and the secondary characteristics including aspects that may change, such as education, income, religious beliefs, and work experience. Others, however, incorporate the value of diversity into their definition. Texas Instruments, for example, defines diversity as how successfully it uses the talents of individuals with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. The research team conducted a survey of transit agencies. These agencies were asked about the definition of diversity within their organization, diversity initiatives within their organization, how diversity is managed, organizational barriers to diversity, and an overall rating of diversity efforts within the agency. Defining Diversity. Answers relating to definitions of diversity identified who was held accountable for ensuring diversity in the transit agency. â¢ Survey respondents reported that diversity was included in a variety of places within the organization and the managerial hierarchy, including in policies and procedures, mission statements, goals and objectives, employee recruitment, and training plans. â¢ Accountability for diversity initiatives was primarily the responsibility of the human resources department, although some agencies included affirmative action, civil rights, equal opportu- nity, and other departments that were charged with overseeing the overall implementation of diversity initiatives. â¢ The survey also asked respondents to identify diversity within the transit agency hierarchy. Respondents indicated diversity within many aspects of transit agencies, including with executive, senior, and middle management; first-line supervisors; technical and professional positions; and driver and mechanic positions. â¢ Nearly all respondents reported that their transit agency had experience with employees filing internal and external discrimination complaints, grievances, and lawsuits. â¢ Respondents reported that diversity within the transit agency was associated with different resource allocation. For example, these agencies linked diversity to investment in the federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program, incentives to increase the recruitment of diverse employees, providing internships to women and minorities, and funding diversity training and staff to manage the implementation of diversity efforts. Diversity Initiatives. The survey also addressed types of diversity initiatives within transit agencies. â¢ The vast majority of respondents reported programs to increase diversity awareness, such as seminars and workshops, cultural awareness, sensitivity training, and diversity orienta- tion programs. Others reported that diversity initiatives took the form of diversity councils or task forces, diversity plans, diversity vision statements, and diversity as a core business strategy.
Literature Review 83Â Â â¢ Some transit agencies cited mentoring networks, programs to improve workâlife balance, cultural celebrations, diversity poster programs, or other initiatives to enhance diversity. â¢ Others noted that they utilized organizational assessments, staff retreats, and employee satisfaction and climate surveys to identify the need for further diversity initiatives. When asked how agencies measured the success of these diversity initiatives, respondents said that meeting their affirmative action goals or reducing the number of charges of discrimination, employee and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaints, grievances, and employeeâmanagement conflicts were common measures of success. Some respondents noted that diversity efforts were measured by how closely the makeup of agency employees matched the demographics of the community. More broadly, however, some agencies responded that they measured the success of initia- tives by the number of employees trained in diversity awareness, the number of women and minorities promoted, the number of participants with a particular cultural event, or the number of networking channels available for the promotion of internal staff. Managing Diversity. Included in the survey were questions relating to managerial methods of diversity within the transit agency. In this section, respondents listed specific programs and activities that promoted diversity within the agency. The report summarizes initiatives in the following agencies: â¢ Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART), â¢ Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority [now the Los Angeles County Metro- politan Transportation Authority (LACMTA)], â¢ ATC-Phoenix (now Valley Metro Transit System), â¢ AlamedaâContra Costa Transit District (AC Transit), â¢ Greater Cleveland Regional Transportation Authority [now the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA)], â¢ Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAAC), â¢ Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston Metro), â¢ Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority [now the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)], â¢ Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), and â¢ Pierce Transit. Many of these transit agencies reported training programs, events and celebrations, committees and task forces, and recruitment efforts that emphasize diversity. Communicating Diversity. The survey instrument included information about how diver- sity initiatives and goals were communicated within the transit agency. Common responses included the following: â¢ New hire orientation programs; â¢ Employee participation in community-based events; â¢ Professional associations, including the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO); â¢ On-site speakers and facilitators; â¢ All-staff meetings; â¢ In-service training, seminars, and workshops; â¢ Newsletters, magazines, pamphlets, and other printed materials; â¢ Focus groups and video trainings; and â¢ Counseling and employee assistance programs in the case of workplace conflict.
84 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry Additionally, some transit agencies included diversity initiatives in their strategic operational goals. For example, transit agencies provided technical assistance for diverse vendors (such as DBEs) who worked for the transit agency. Some transit agencies also reported strategic operational goals aimed at ensuring diversity within work teams, task forces, committees, and other groups of employees. Other respondents cited strategic operational goals that established performance measures of diversity initiatives. Organizational Barriers to Diversity. Survey respondents were also asked to identify barriers within the organization that limited diversity initiatives. Although some transit agencies reported no barriers, others responded that informal communication networks were the most significant barrier in their agency. On a related note, some referenced informal rules, socialization protocols, and expected managerial style as things that acted as barriers to diversity initiatives. When asked about any personal barriers that limited the success of diversity programs, respondents cited mode of communication along with age, race, perceived personal style, perceived socioeconomic status, perceived level of education, and perceived potential for leadership. Rating of Diversity Initiatives. Finally, respondents were asked to rate their transit agencyâs efforts to implement diversity initiatives. Many respondents rated their agencyâs efforts as âvery aggressive.â Additionally, many reported that their agency had diversity goals in place and included diversity as part of the overall strategic plan and mission statement, and many noted diversity was a core value of their agency. Respondents reported that diversity goals were in place and must be met by management, and no agency reported that it did not value diversity. Overall, few respondents reported the need for increased coordination of diversity initiatives. Case Examples. The research also explored differences in the workplace that could have an impact on the success of diversity initiatives. The case examples included four transit agencies [HART, BART, PAAC, and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)] and examined committees or task forces designed to assist with diversity initiatives. The author notes the following activities as vital to the committees or task forces: â¢ Governance or authority, â¢ Leadership, â¢ Developing diverse teams within the agency, â¢ Training and staff development, â¢ Planning diversity initiatives, and â¢ Communicating diversity initiatives. The case examples identified barriers to diversity implementation similar to those identified by the survey. TCRP Synthesis 46 concludes with an interview with an expert who has experience designing diversity initiatives and with case examples of diversity initiatives within the private sector. TCRP Report 77 and Special Report 275 Some TRB reports that examined workforce needs in the transit industry included elements regarding employee diversity. Two studies from the early 2000s are discussed below. TCRP Report 77. TCRP Report 77: Managing Transitâs Workforce in the New Millennium examines the transit industryâs workforce needs and common practices as of 2002 (McGlothin Davis, Inc. 2002). The researchers present the results of a literature review as well as survey responses and in-depth case studies. They note a shortage of quality and quantity of staff within
Literature Review 85Â Â the transit industry and (a) address the industryâs workforce needs and prospects; (b) propose strategies to recruit, develop, and retain a qualified workforce; and (c) create tools and guidelines for monitoring workforce needs. The report includes a review of best practices for recruiting, training, and retaining a well-qualified workforce within the transit industry and analyzes how many transit agencies were using these practices. As of 2002, transit agencies were competing with other organizations for workers in a booming economy. Research suggested that employers placed as much emphasis on marketing themselves as being desirable places to work as they did on marketing themselves to consumers. These practices included flexible work schedules, offering pet insurance, sign-on bonuses, and employee referral programs. Research showed, however, that employees most valued challeng- ing work, feeling valued and listened to, opportunities for growth, and competitive salaries. Additionally, previous literature suggested that the same factors that attract employees also contribute to employee retention. The consensus within the research was that the majority of employees leave organizations because of negative relationships with their supervisors. Because of this, many organizations now examine their supervisors more closely and have increased the preparation and accountability required for managers within their organization. Research also suggested that employees recruited from inside sources (such as former employees or internal job postings) were more likely to stay employed longer than workers recruited by other means. Additionally, researchers have highlighted the need for tailoring jobs and job postings on the basis of career life cycles. There are multiple stages, including career establishment (for which the main motivators are salary, training, and corporate structure), family building (for which the motivators are the value employees place on workâlife balance, opportunities for advancement, and competitive wages), and closure (for which the motivators are primarily concerned with pension plans, elder care, and personal work interests). By adjusting job positions and recruiting tactics on the basis of these phases, organizations may be more successful at recruiting qualified employees. Employees consistently named three factors as vital for employee retention: the quality of their relationship with their supervisor or manager, the ability to balance work and home life, and the feeling of making a difference at work. Additionally, the vast majority of employees reported that job loyalty is built from contributions to work rather than tenure. Success is based on job responsibilities and accomplishments rather than salaries or titles. Similarly, research has found that employees expect to have formal upward communication systems to ensure their voices are heard as well as competent management that creates a positive and respectful culture and work that helps to carry out the organizationâs mission. Survey responses indicated effective use of various recruitment methods, including (from most utilized to least utilized) internal job announcements, newspaper classified advertisements, and competitive compensation packages. Respondents also indicated that retention practices were not as formalized as recruitment initiatives. From the most- to the least-identified practices, respondents cited the following: utilization of formal employee orientation, safety incentives, upward communication and/or feedback, management and leadership development, atten- dance incentives, rewards for high employee involvement, and planned career paths. Training methods were also reported in the research, with efforts including (from most utilized to least) performance-based needs assessment, performance-based instruction, tutoring, self-paced instruction, individualized learning plans, and rollover of trainees. Finally, the survey identified various laborâmanagement partnerships developed by transit agencies. About 50% of the largest transit agencies reported laborâmanagement agreements, with about 40% of respondents reporting that these agreements were codified in labor contract provisions. Of the smallest transit agencies, only 11% reported labor agreements, and none were
86 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry codified. Outside of these laborâmanagement relationships, respondents also cited the follow- ing as partnerships used by their transit agency: apprenticeship programs in labor contracts, hiring into training programs from a union hall, and involving unions in employee selection. In general, organizations that prioritize employee recruitment and retention are more successful in maintaining a qualified workforce and adapting to changing workforce conditions. The organizational structure of transit agencies may be adapted to better support a high-quality workforce: â¢ Partnerships between different groups within transit agencies may help to create a qualified workforce. Although such partnerships may take many forms (such as human resources partnering with marketing departments to portray the transit agency as a preferred employer or human resources partnering with employees to act as an internal recruitment and retention resource), organizations that prioritize these relationships may benefit more from them. â¢ Managers may also better maintain a qualified workforce by using more nontraditional recruitment strategies (such as attending career fairs and offering jobs on the spot) or by utilizing a grow-our-own strategy, in which agencies recruit interns or entry-level employees from the community. â¢ Transit agencies have developed and improved training resources (for example, offering remedial education for workers to qualify for certain positions), and have established con- nections with community-based workforce development resources (such as working with welfare-to-work organizations and the Job Corps to train workers or partnering with local technical schools and community colleges to provide certain training to students). â¢ Management can increase retention, although survey respondents reported that retention strategies were less effective than recruitment and training strategies. Exit interviews, for example, may be used to identify issues relating to employee retention within the organiza- tion. Managers may then use this information to make improvements. â¢ Managers of qualified workforces may also benefit from laborâmanagement partnerships. In the transit industry, most such partnerships were a formal laborâmanagement committee that included the general manager or senior manager of the transit agency and the president of the union. Successful laborâmanagement committees often have strong relationships and trust as well as training and accountability on both sides. Special Report 275. Special Report 275: The Workforce Challenge: Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Qualified Workers for Transportation and Transit Agencies focuses on the workforce in the transit industry and discusses diversity in that context (TRB 2003). Diversity was found to be an important consideration in recruiting, training, and retention of qualified workers in the transit industry. Language and cultural training are mentioned as ways to make diversity suc- ceed. Additionally, the report concludes that such actions result in an expanded applicant pool, reduced employee turnover, and improved productivity. TCRP Report 120/NCHRP Report 585 TCRP Report 120/NCHRP Report 585: Racial and Gender Diversity in State DOTs and Transit Agencies: A Benchmark Scoping examines the state of data collection and reporting regarding racial and gender diversity in transit agencies and state departments of transportation (DOTs) as of 2006 (Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs 2007). The research also summa- rizes literature on promoting, recruiting, and retaining a diverse workforce at transit agencies and state DOTs. This report attempted to establish a benchmark of racial and gender diversity; however, the researchers determined that the reported data were incomplete, and a credible benchmark could not be determined. The data used to analyze diversity in this report were primarily equal employment opportunity (EEO) data in which agencies reported the number of women and minorities employed within
Literature Review 87Â Â various EEO categories (officials and administrators, professionals, technicians, protective service workers, administrative support, skilled craft workers, and service maintenance workers). These data were then compared with what was reported on the FHWA-1392 form (Federal-Aid Highway Construction Summary of Employment Data), which includes total employment on Federal-Aid Highway Program projects. The report reviews data for 52 state DOTs (all states in addition to Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico) and 50 transit agencies. The report highlights the importance of collecting information from affirmative action plans as well as the utilization and availability analysis of EEO programs. The authors state that the data should include whether a transit agency is compliant, whether the data are consistent and comprehensive, and whether the transit agency is confident in the data it reports. Little analysis of the data collected was able to be completed because of the information that was reported and how it was reported. This report also includes a review of the relevant literature as of 2006. TCRP Report 120/NCHRP Report 585 indicates that state DOTs have two responsibilities: to not exclude women and minorities and to take steps to attract and retain women and minorities (this responsibility includes the implementation of an affirmative action plan and completion of an EEO-4 report). EEO-4 reports include information by job category, race, and salary. Analysis of the data collected found that, in general, state DOTs had a high level of compliance with EEO laws and submission requirements. Federal regulations state that affirmative action plans should include, among others: specific, measurable, and attainable hiring and promotion goals with target dates; identification of minorities and women who are qualified or qualifiable to fill jobs; a survey of the labor market area in terms of population makeup, skills, and availability for employment; and a procedure that allows employees and applicants to submit allegations of discrimination to an impartial body without fear of reprisal. Only 58% of reporting state DOTs submitted a comprehensive report that included both incumbency numbers (utilization rates) and an availability analysis. Minimum components of an availability analysis include data on the state population, the labor market in the state (with information by race/ethnicity and gender), and an analysis of how these factors connect to the availability of personnel and jobs within the DOT. These reports should also include target goals for women and minorities in specific occupations. The research also found discrepancies in the consistency of reported data. These inconsistencies were primarily related to the date and source of availability data, measures of underrepresentation and adverse impacts, geographic and organizational units to assess representation, and racial/ ethnic categories used when reporting employment counts. Overall, the research found overutilization of white men, black men, and black women in all occupational categories. White women were underutilized in all occupational categories, while Hispanic men, Hispanic women, Asian women, and American Indian women were under- utilized in most occupational categories. The authors provide a series of recommendations based on the analysis: â¢ Making it easier for agencies to be compliant, â¢ Providing standardized training and facilitating the sharing of information and best practices among agencies, â¢ Communicating the key elements of an effective affirmative action plan, â¢ Increasing accuracy by promoting the improvement of internal monitoring and tracking systems, and â¢ Making diversity an agency priority by holding everyone accountable for achieving diversity goals.
88 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry TCRP Report 148 TCRP Report 148: Practical Resources for Recruiting Minorities for Chief Executive Officers at Public Transportation Agencies addresses specific recruitment models, selection processes, and retention practices (Washington etÂ al. 2011). The research team for this report completed a literature review of research related to recruiting and retaining minorities and women. The team found that making diversity a central part of the organization (such as increasing diversity at the executive level or linking diversity to outcomes such as performance evaluations) was a common theme. In terms of recruitment, the authors found that many researchers recom- mended that recruiters expand where employers search for minority and female candidates to ânontraditional avenuesâ (Washington etÂ al. 2011, p.Â 2). There was a common misconception among recruiters and managers that qualified minority candidates do not exist, cannot perform like their counterparts, or are not a cultural fit. Others (such as the National Football League and the State of Oregon) require some decision-makers to consider at least one minority candidate for certain hiring decisions. There was little agreement in the literature about retaining minority executives. This report also addressed the financial benefits of prioritizing diversity in hiring. The authors noted that diversity has a positive return on investment and discussed the measure- ment of that. The researchers also discuss diversity models (which strategically align diversity as a primary company goal) and explain that the consensus within the literature is that firms that are strategi- cally aligned can identify and retain employees better and also score better on a wide variety of business indicators and employee satisfaction. The report outlines six methods for recruiting minority CEOs at public transit agencies: â¢ Combining internal and external executive recruitment methods, â¢ Creating diversity executive recruitment programs, â¢ Requiring a mandatory diverse talent pool, â¢ Creating succession planning and leadership development programs, â¢ Leveraging professional associations, and â¢ Conducting extensive Internet searches to identify minority executive candidates (this is the primary method in the private sector). To increase retention, the authors highlight executive coaching, realistic job previews, mentor- ing, and onboarding as instrumental in maintaining current employees and limiting turnover. TCRP Research Report 214 A key aspect in the creation of diversity and equity initiatives are prior studies that iden- tify disparities within the playing field. TCRP Research Report 214: Equity Analysis in Regional Transportation Planning Processes, Volumes 1 and 2 was published to aid metropolitan plan- ning organizations (MPOs) in conducting equity analyses for regional transportation programs (Twaddell and Zgoda 2020a, 2020b). This report is relevant to this literature review, as the volumes highlight how equity and disparity studies are done (or recommended to be done) in public transportation and touch on some of the challenges current MPOs face in their analyses. Volume 1: Guide. The first volume of TCRP Research Report 214 is a how-to logistical and methodological guide for MPOs on analyzing equity within long-range, regional, and multi- modal transportation. To set the stage, the report examines what equity means for transit planners and within public transportation. The authors write, âequity in transportation seeks fairness in mobility and accessibility to meet the needs of all community members,â including those members who are employed by transit agencies (Twaddell and Zgoda 2020a, p. 2).
Literature Review 89Â Â The bulk of this publication dives methodologically into equity analyses, specifically, what equity analyses are and how to conduct equity studies. The authors provide a five-step research design approach that is participatory and quantitative. The five steps are as follows: â¢ Engage with the public before, during, and after an equity study. â¢ Identify the needs and concerns of stakeholders. â¢ Design and conduct an equity analysis. â¢ Analyze data to determine whether there are disparate impacts on certain populations. â¢ Develop initiatives to prevent, avoid, or mitigate inequalities. If MPOs can conduct equity analyses, identify disparities, and address them, benefits are boundless. As the authors write, successful MPOs will be able âto make transportation invest- ments that contribute to the health, prosperity, and quality of life for all persons and communities in the regionâ (Twaddell and Zgoda 2020a, p. 3). Volume 2: Research Overview. Using the five-step approach outlined in Volume 1, Volume 2 presents a comparative study of the policies, procedures, and practices of 10 MPOs regarding equity analyses and initiatives. The equity initiatives discussed in this volume are targeted toward transit customers rather than employees. Only those items relevant to diversity and equity in the workforce are highlighted in this review. On the basis of a literature review, interviews with MPO staff, and a comparison of equity policies, the authors of TCRP Research Report 214 concluded the following: â¢ The documentation of diversity approaches and past equity analyses by the 10 MPOs varied greatly. Some contained extensively detailed research design, data, analysis, and program implementation, while others had âminimal documentation . . . including virtually no descrip- tions of outreach, assessments, findings or strategiesâ (Twaddell and Zgoda 2020b, p. 29). Such variance does not lend itself to best practices. â¢ Agencies have difficulty connecting discovered disparities to mitigation strategies, with many lacking documentation on specific equity activities and how the activity addresses an identi- fied disparity or need. â¢ All observed MPOs experienced difficulty devoting adequate staff and resources to conducting robust equity studies as well as engaging meaningfully with their findingsâthat is, imple- menting procedures to minimize discovered disparities. To make equity analyses more effective and findings more influential in the scheme of policies and practices, MPO and public transit leadership must be aware of these regular deficiencies in equity analyses and attempt to mitigate them when conducting studies of their own. TCRP Synthesis 147 In 2019, women made up only 39% of the national transit and ground passenger workforce, despite comprising 46.9% of the overall U.S. labor force. These statistics are further high- lighted by the fact that women constitute more than half of national transit passengers. TCRP Synthesis 147: Attracting, Retaining, and Advancing Women in Transit investigates the reasons behind the gender disparities in the transit workforce by highlighting the barriers women face in transit (Alexander 2020). It also provides recommendations on how to attract, retain, develop, advance, and support women employees. On the basis of a combination of a literature review, surveys, and case examples, the author of this report found that womenâs participation in transit varied by occupation. Table B-1 displays this variance. Gender disparities grow starker upon observing transit leadership roles. Women hold only 11% to 21% of corporate management and supervisory positions in public transportation.
90 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry The author points to five reasons behind this gender disparity that relate to attracting, hiring, retaining, and advancement: â¢ A lack of transit job opportunity outreach targeted to women as well as a lack of inclusive promotion strategies, â¢ Social factors and stereotypes that transit jobs are traditionally for men, â¢ A dominant masculine culture within transit agencies heightened by a large proportion of men in the workforce, â¢ Safety and health concerns in public transportation particular to women (e.g., the risk of being a victim of sexual harassment by coworkers or riders), and â¢ Difficulties in agencies accommodating womenâs responsibilities outside of work, as they tend to be their familiesâ primary caregivers. The report provides strategies for each of the listed challenges. These strategies can also be applied to attract, retain, and advance other minority peoples. Following are some of the strategies: â¢ Conduct outreach about transit careers in schools and communities so young women are aware of transit career options early on. â¢ Improve the image of transit occupations by demonstrating the benefits and values one can gain from a career in public transportation. â¢ Target the focus of recruitment efforts on women during the application process with out- lined goals. â¢ Review current hiring practices and promotion materials for gendered stereotypes and pronouns and incorporation of images of and stories about women. â¢ Address masculine workplace culture. â¢ Provide training, developmental support, mentorship, and specialized networking opportu- nities for women. â¢ Make a conscious effort at improving accommodations for work and personal needs of employees (e.g., childcare assistance). â¢ Clearly outline career advancement and promotion steps. â¢ Assess work assignment equality. â¢ Reduce safety and health concerns for women in transit. These strategies have been found to promote transit careers in previously unreached popu- lations of young women, provide women with technical and psychosocial support, and promote career advancement among already employed women. If agencies are able to imple- ment more of these strategies at a consistent and higher frequency, this report asserts that it Occupation Percentage Women Bus drivers 43.8 Cleaners of vehicles and equipment 15.2 Engineering technicians, except drafters 18.1 Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists 0.9 First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers 5.9 Supervisors of transportation and material moving workers 23.2 Source: Alexander (2020, p. 7); data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Jan. 2019) Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov- /cps/cpsaat11.htm. Table B-1. Representation of women in select transit occupations.
Literature Review 91Â Â is likely that there will be a trend of more women entering transit occupations and attaining leadership positions. ACRP Research Report 217 ACRP Research Report 217: Guidance for Diversity in Airport Business Contracting and Workforce Programs is a guidebook on improving and encouraging diversity programs in public transportation with a particular focus on airports (Krop etÂ al. 2020). It straddles diversity in both workforce and procurement. Not only are best practices for diversity outlined, but the authors of this report also provide a detailed costâbenefit analysis of diversity programming and explain how to analyze the effectiveness of programs. They supply readers with advice on how to design a diversity study, collect data, analyze data, generate measurements, and under- stand the results of analysis, much like Volume 1 of TCRP Research Report 214: Equity Analysis in Regional Transportation Planning Processes (Twaddell and Zgoda 2020a). ACRP Research Report 217 begins with an explanation of the federal regulations that govern the participation and inclusion of disadvantaged and diverse businesses [i.e., airport concession disadvantaged business enterprises (ACDBEs), minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs), women-owned business enterprises (WBEs), and other small business designations] in airport contracting and concessionaires. Details of these regulations are given in the discussion of ACRP Report 126: A Guidebook for Increasing Diverse and Small Business Participation in Airport Busi- ness Opportunities in the section on equity in procurement below. The authors move on to discuss the benefits of workforce diversity, framing diversity programs as âvalueâ propositions rather than simply as inclusion efforts. This reframing of diversity sets the groundwork for the authors to highlight the value diversity adds economi- cally, socioeconomically, and to the local community. Diverse workforces, according to this report, can â¢ Have higher levels of internal support for implementation of diversity initiatives; â¢ Increase the overall qualifications of a workplace; â¢ Are more satisfied and content environments that decrease employee turnover and operating costs; and â¢ Encourage new perspectives and innovation, which can improve productivity, creativity, and occupational success. Important to note is that promoting diversity in any workforce is context specific. For airports in particular, airport size, location, and local conditions of candidate pools greatly influence the actual diversity of workforce demographics, practices, policies, and goals. According to best practices, governing bodies, chief executives, and senior management must take environmental context into consideration when making informed commitments to workforce and contractor diversity. Diversity among airport contractors and concessionaires should also be embraced through diversity initiatives. By doing so, airports can expand their pool of contractors and increase the level of competition, which, in turn, will improve the quality of services and goods provided to the airport. The authors recommend the following methods to do so: â¢ Develop the talent of contractors and assistance programs for contractors, particularly regarding bidding. â¢ Improve the airportâs reputation and its diversity efforts to encourage contractor engagement. â¢ Ensure current diversity programs fit federal standards so that programs are properly struc- tured and make good-faith efforts at eliminating barriers to equal opportunities. If they do not, they must be revised.
92 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry Transit agency leadership plays a major role in workforce and contractor diversity. Using policy and encouragement of managers in charge of contracting and diversity programs, leaders will see not only economic advantages, but also economic sustainability and improved relationships within local communities. The authors point to the leaders of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and the Metropolitan Wash- ington Airports Authority as examples of proactive leadership in contractor and workplace diversity. Administratively, there are certain pragmatic changes to contracting policy and practice that airports can use to improve diversity: â¢ Unbundling contracts, â¢ Establishing small-business contracting set-asides, â¢ Setting project-specific goals, â¢ Employing strategic long-term planning to incorporate diversity priorities, â¢ Communicating diversity goals and objectives, â¢ Conducting outreach initiatives, â¢ Providing training programs to aid the success of diverse businesses, â¢ Monitoring and evaluating diversity contracting goals and progress, â¢ Communicating the accomplishments of an airportâs diversity initiatives, â¢ Implementing process improvements, â¢ Evaluating and overcoming challenges, and â¢ Encouraging new DBEs to engage in airport contracts. Diversity efforts are not cost free, nor are the costs associated with these efforts always clearly calculable. The authors have found that the costs of diversity programs are rarely comprehensively captured in the budgets of diversity offices, but rather are shared by a myriad of departments within an airport that implement and enforce initiatives. Despite noting the complexity of cost, ACRP Research Report 217 offers an estimated breakdown of expenses related to diversity programs, including training, outreach, research, and administration. This report is firm in its assertion that practices and policies that encourage diversity improve not only the workforce and operations of an airport, but also the airportâs surrounding com- munity. Improvements are socioeconomic and environmental. By hiring and contracting with diverse populations, airports can promote social and environmental justice as well as advance distributive justice. Distributive justice is defined by the authors in the airport context as, âremoving the burden that disadvantaged communities may already face in contracting or hiring processes and presenting those communities with more equal opportunityâ (Krop etÂ al. 2020, p. 23). Programs, hiring practices, contracting operations, and general airport policies must be critically analyzed for any potential bias that may prevent distributive justice and hinder diversity initiatives. Equity in Procurement TRB studies have also examined the federal DBE Program and other means of ensuring equity in procurement. NCHRP Research Report 913 NCHRP Research Report 913: Compendium of Successful Practices, Strategies, and Resources in the U.S. DOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program outlines factors that make DBEs successful in the program, initiatives used by state DOTs found to help DBEs be successful, and further keys to DBE success (Keen etÂ al. 2019). In this project, researchers included DBEs
Literature Review 93Â Â that had graduated from the program, meaning that firm owners no longer met the program eligibility requirements, which include gross revenue and wealth ceilings. Overall, this research found that successful DBEs attributed some of their success to the DBE Program. DBE firm owners reported using training and other technical assistance services offered by state DOTs and indicated that they would continue to do so. This research found that DBEs that work with state DOTs may graduate from the DBE Program, although as many as one-third eventually regain eligibility and reenter the program. Because firms that have graduated no longer benefit from the DBE Program, there are some disincentives to graduating. Additionally, DBE certification does not guarantee a firm will win work with a state DOT, and state DOTs identified a small portion of certified DBEs as successful. According to the research, most DBEs identified as successful performed construction or professional services work, were older firms that had been certified for many years, and worked as prime contractors or consultants; about one-half were owned by white women. The primary strategies that DBEs used to become successful included diversification or vertical integration, serving a geographically large market area, and bidding or proposing as a prime contractor or consultant. This report also includes a description of approaches state DOTs use to assist DBEs. Overall, state DOTs that provide training and technical assistance to DBEs and include contract goals in their DBE programs are most effective at supporting DBEs. Finally, this research outlines recommendations that state DOTs and others may use in helping DBEs become successful. These approaches include the following, among others: â¢ Successfully delivering basic services of DBE programs (including certification, goal setting, and monitoring), â¢ Offering training tailored to the transportation industry, â¢ Providing individualized assistance, â¢ Addressing barriers in accessing capital and bonding, â¢ Offering more prime contract opportunities to small businesses, â¢ Tracking successful DBEs and developing multistate efforts to assist DBEs, â¢ Encouraging successful DBEs to support emerging DBEs, and â¢ Easing the transition when a firm is graduating from the DBE Program. NCHRP Synthesis 481 NCHRP Synthesis 481: Current Practices to Set and Monitor DBE Goals on DesignâBuild Projects and Other Alternative Project Delivery Methods describes current practices and challenges that state DOTs face as they set and monitor DBE Program goals, including setting DBE contract goals, procurement policies, program compliance and state DOT enforcement mechanisms (Keen etÂ al. 2015). Implementation of the DBE Program with the designâbidâbuild process is determined by federal regulations and years of state DOT implementation. Typically, the designâbidâbuild process begins with the state DOT setting a goal for DBE participation (often expressed as a percentage of total cost). Bidders must then either meet the DBE goal or show good faith efforts to do so. If they do not do so, federal regulations require their bid to be rejected. After contracts are awarded, the state DOT then monitors to ensure that DBEs actually receive work on their particular project. NCHRP Synthesis 481 compares the designâbidâbuild approach to three alternative methods of procurement. The designâbuild delivery method combines two services into a single contract,
94 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry which often includes a single fixed-fee contract for both architectural/engineering services and construction. Use of the construction manager at risk (CMAR) or construction manager/ general contractor (CMGC) methods allows owners to engage a construction manager during the design process. This person frequently provides input on scheduling, pricing, phasing, and other aspects of the project. Publicâprivate partnerships (PPPs) are contractual agreements between a public agency and a private-sector entity; these agreements result in greater private- sector participation in the delivery and funding of the project. At the time of the research for NCHRP Synthesis 481, at least 45 states along with Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico had used designâbuild as a delivery method for state DOT projects. Somewhat fewer states had used PPPs and CMAR or CMGC delivery methods. Among those that used alternative delivery methods for projects funded by the U.S. DOT, 33 utilized DBE contract goals. Further research with state DOTs uncovered significant difficulties applying the traditional DBE contract goals to projects using alternative delivery methods. This study found that new methods that focus on a DBE plan at the time of proposal (rather than commitment to specific DBEs) can be a more effective approach. Additionally, state DOTs may require or urge propos- ers to include multiple strategies for assisting DBEs in their plans. State DOTs reported that higher DBE goals can be set and consistently achieved under the new approaches, although they do require additional monitoring to ensure that DBE plans are implemented by the contractor. This report further explores these alternative delivery methods, investigates how state DOTs apply DBE goals using various methods, and reviews the experiences of state DOTs in imple- menting these goals. Transportation Project Delivery: Alternative Contracting Methods Research âTransportation Project Delivery: Alternative Contracting Methods Researchâ further explores alternative contracting methods used in the transit industry (El Asmar 2018). This article pre- sents recent trends in the research, application, and implementation of these contracting methods. The traditional method of procurement, the designâbidâbuild approach, is seen as limiting the opportunities for collaboration between project stakeholders. The alternative contracting methods explored in the paper include designâbuild and CMGC. These alternative methods allow for more innovation and collaboration in the designing and building process, with significant contractor engagement in the design process. ACRP Report 126 ACRP Report 126: A Guidebook for Increasing Diverse and Small Business Participation in Airport Business Opportunities includes information about the legal background of the federal DBE and ACDBE Programs (Exstare Federal Services Group etÂ al. 2015). The report also includes examples of other nonfederal business enterprise programs utilized by airports, a discussion of the roles and responsibilities in the implementation of these policies, and con- tracting methods used to obtain diversity. Additionally, this guidebook addresses barriers to the success of diverse businesses and strategies for enhancing diverse business participation and includes an investigation of six airports as case studies. The U.S. DOT established the DBE Program for contracts funded under the Federal Aviation Administrationâs (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP), as well as the ACDBE program for airport concessions and certain management contracts. The goal of both programs is to ensure nondiscrimination in awarding AIP-funded contracts and airport concessions contracts. While the U.S. DOT establishes rules and regulations for these programs, regional FAA offices oversee program implementation.
Literature Review 95Â Â The discussion of the DBE Program includes explanation of the enabling legislation and grant assurances as well as the general framework and requirements of the federal regulations for certain concessions and for airport contracts. Airport DBE programs are established under 49 CFR PartÂ 26. The regulations require certain airport grant recipients to develop, implement, and enforce the DBE program in good faith. Airport grant recipients that award prime contracts of $250,000 or less in a federal fiscal year for airport planning or development are not required to have a DBE program. When implementing a DBE program, airports must create and distribute a policy statement within the organiza- tion and to the relevant business community; 49 CFR PartÂ 26 also outlines the administrative requirements for airports implementing the program. Notably, DBE programs are not uniform. Instead, each participating airport must design and implement its own program on the basis of its organization. Airports must design programs to meet the aspirational goal outlined in 49 CFR PartÂ 26.45 for DBE participation in federally funded contracts over a 3-year period using either race- and gender-neutral means or, if necessary, race- and gender-conscious means. Setting an overall goal involves two steps: developing a base figure for DBE participation on the basis of DBE availability in the market area, after which airports may adjust the base figure to account for factors that affect DBE availability. To receive grant funds, an airport must have the FAA approve its DBE program plan, must be in compli- ance with its DBE plan, and must annually report DBE participation to FAA. General administrative requirements are also discussed in this publication. These require- ments include but are not limited to maintaining detailed records and bidders lists of DBE and non-DBE firms, designating a DBE liaison officer who is responsible for implementing all aspects of the airportâs DBE program, maintaining a directory that identifies all certified DBEs, and structuring contracts to facilitate small business competition. The report also summarizes the regulations guiding the ACDBE Program, which was estab- lished by 49 CFR PartÂ 23. These guidelines require airport grant recipients to develop, implement, and enforce a program for concession businesses that meets the goals of the ACDBE Program. As with the DBE Program, participating airports are required to develop and distribute a policy statement and meet the same nondiscrimination requirements established for DBE programs in 49 CFR PartÂ 26 with respect to the award of concession, management, purchase or lease, or other agreements. The administrative requirements of the ACDBE Program are largely similar to those of the DBE Program. Therefore, airports that implement both programs may combine shared program requirements and may issue one policy statement and appoint one DBE liaison officer for both programs. As with the DBE Program, airports must set aspirational 3-year overall goals for ACDBE participation in concession opportunities and design measures to meet these goals through race- and gender-neutral or race- and gender-conscious approaches. Airports must also determine goals based on ACDBE availability in the relevant market and must submit these goals to FAA after consulting with a variety of stakeholders. Additionally, the ACDBE Program includes two participation goalsâone for car rentals and one for other concessionsâand these goals must be set separately. As with the DBE Program, an airport is only eligible if it submits its ACDBE plan to FAA and that plan is then approved. ACDBE programs must include monitor- ing and enforcement mechanisms to ensure regulatory compliance, and airports must report ACDBE participation to FAA annually. After discussing the administrative requirements of both the DBE and the ACDBE programs, the report addresses the constitutionality of these programs. The U.S. Supreme Court rulings in City of Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co. in 1989 and Adarand Constructors, Inc., v. Pena in 1995
96 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry guide these programs. These rulings also establish that federal programs that use race or ethnicity in decision-making are subject to âstrict scrutiny,â which is the most rigorous standard of judicial review. Because of the similarities between the two programs, legal justification of the DBE Program can also be applied to the ACDBE Program. The report also explores nonfederal business enterprise programs. These are often called local business enterprise (LBE) programs, small business enterprise (SBE) programs, and minor- ity business enterprise (MBE) or womenâs business enterprise (WBE) programs. The report includes examples and discussions of each type of program as well as a description of the process of creating an LBE or SBE program. Additionally, the report addresses policy and implementation roles and responsibilities of the major actors. These include governing bodies (such as the airport authority or the airport department of a municipality), chief executives, DBE liaison officers, and other offices and departments. The researchers found that diversity programs are best executed when fully supported (by culture, staff, and resources) and implemented as a collaborative effort, mean- ing that airports that are committed to the ideals of business diversity programs and have dedicated resources are more successful. This report also explains that the four key components of successful diversity programs are commitment, shared responsibility, a diverse team, and collaborative efforts. The researchers also examine lasting impediments to the success of diverse businesses. Among these obstacles, they cite the following things that limit the success of diverse businesses: certifi- cation requirements, proposal requirements (such as the standard term of an airport concession agreement, which is 10 years), large contract size, bonding and insurance requirements, limited financial resources, not receiving payment promptly, and politics. The researchers also explore which contracting methods best support diversity efforts. Among the contracting methods discussed, the following approaches are highlighted as having the potential to increase diversity: â¢ Limiting eligibility to bid on a project to small businesses (small business set-asides), â¢ Encouraging qualified and eligible firms to obtain DBE certification, â¢ Offering smaller-sized and direct opportunities, â¢ Breaking the scope of a contract into smaller dollar amounts and lower risk projects, â¢ Supporting and communicating with joint-venture participants, and â¢ Relaxing bonding and insurance requirements. Further, the researchers recommend strategies and partnerships to increase diverse business participation. These approaches include â¢ Planning for diverse business participation, â¢ Conducting a disparity study, â¢ Offering language translation services, â¢ Utilizing new technology in promoting contract opportunities, â¢ Measuring the internal performance of diversity goals, â¢ Sharing business diversity accomplishments both internally and externally, â¢ Developing and maintaining relationships with industry associations or other local partner- ships, and â¢ Developing and implementing training programs. ACRP Report 126 concludes with case studies of airports of various sizes, including Columbia Metropolitan Airport, Richmond International Airport, Oakland International Airport, RaleighâDurham International Airport, San Diego International Airport, and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Literature Review 97Â Â Other Research Regarding Employment The research team also examined other studies related to equity, diversity, and inclusion issues in employment that are relevant to transit agencies. This section of the literature review summarizes commonly used approaches to increasing organizational diversity and inclusion. The following topics are addressed: â¢ Required initiatives, â¢ Human resources strategies, â¢ Initiatives that affect the work environment, â¢ Initiatives that establish responsibility or accountability, and â¢ Initiatives that leverage external relationships. Required Initiatives Certain diversity and inclusion initiatives may be required for some organizations. Affirma- tive action programs, for example, may be required by federal regulations (Kalev etÂ al. 2006). According to these regulations, affirmative action plans should include, among others things (Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs 2007), â¢ Specific, measurable, attainable hiring and promotion goals with target dates; â¢ Identification of minorities and women who are qualified or qualifiable to fill jobs; â¢ A survey of the labor market area in terms of population makeup, skills, and availability for employment; and â¢ A procedure that allows employees and applicants to submit allegations of discrimination without fear of reprisal to an impartial body. Organizations may also measure overall diversity progress by their progress toward their affirmative action goals. In addition to affirmative action requirements, some agencies are subject to EEO regulations (Newkirk 2019). EEO requirements protect against discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, genetic information, disability or veteran status. Recent revisions also include protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals (FTA 2016b). Some organizations may track the number of EEO complaints filed and may use this as a measure of diversity success (Simpson 2003). Certain agencies are required to develop, implement, and submit programs for diversity and inclusion. According to FTA Circular C 4704.1A (FTA 2016a), EEO programs include seven elements: â¢ Statement of policy, which includes the agencyâs commitment to EEO; â¢ Dissemination of EEO policy statement both internally and externally; â¢ Designation of personnel responsibility, including the EEO officer who is responsible for EEO program management and oversight; â¢ Utilization analysis, which compares minorities and women in the agencyâs workforce to minorities and women available in the local workforce for each job category; â¢ Goals and timetables for addressing problems identified in the utilization analysis; â¢ Assessment of employment practices, identifying why problems identified in the utilization analysis exist (for example, issues may arise due to recruitment, promotions and transfers, seniority practices, training, compensation and benefits, and disciplinary and termination practices, among others), along with an analysis of the statistical impact of employment practices on minorities, women, and veterans; and â¢ Monitoring and reporting, including practices to monitor EEO within the agency and with subrecipients or contractors, procedures for reviewing equity in contracting and monitoring complaints, and the frequency and results of EEO-related meetings.
98 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry Although EEO programs may be required, some researchers suggest that they are not necessarily an effective way to increase diversity. For example, EEO programs include a formal grievance process that enables employees to file a complaint with the EEOC if they experience discrimination at work on the basis of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, dis- ability, or genetic information. One study analyzed almost 90,000 discrimination complaints filed with the federal EEOC in 2015 and found that 45% of those complaints resulted in retalia- tion. When employees see that the grievance procedure is ineffective, they are more likely to avoid reporting incidents of discrimination. This is supported by responses from employee surveys, which indicate that most people do not report discrimination. As a result of the few complaints, organizations conclude that they do not have problems with discrimination. Addi- tionally, studies have found that protective measures such as grievance systems may lead people to let bias affect their decisions more, as they believe that organization policies guarantee fairness (Dobbin and Kalev 2016). A review of the ways in which EEO and affirmative action (AA) laws had been enforced found that, in a random sample of 1,024 federal civil rights cases decided after the 1964 Civil Rights Act, judges based company compliance on the existence of diversity programs, policies, or officers, and did not analyze their efficiency. Because of previous court decisions, plaintiffs in such cases must prove not only the impact of workplace policies but must also prove the employerâs intent to discriminate. Therefore, employment discrimination lawsuits are some of the most difficult to win, with a success rate of about 21%. While firms create visible symbols of EEO/AA efforts, these diversity initiatives are not required to decrease discrimination (Newkirk 2019). Human Resources Strategies Some organizations utilize human resources strategies aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion. These approaches are aimed at hiring and recruiting practices, policies that increase retention and limit employee turnover, promotion practices, diversity training, and communi- cation within the organization. Hiring and Recruiting Staffing has been identified as a key component of diversity and inclusion efforts (Newkirk 2019). Some organizations use targeted recruiting or, in general, place a greater emphasis on minority recruitment and recruiting women (Nishii etÂ al. 2018; Roberts and Mayo 2019; Simpson 2003). Other agencies have adopted more concrete changes to hiring practices, such as recruiting from nontraditional avenues, combining internal and external executive recruitment methods, and conducting extensive Internet searches to identify minority candidates (Washington etÂ al. 2011). Some agencies have developed internship or apprenticeship programs, and others utilize diversity executive recruitment programs (Ivey etÂ al. 2019; Washington etÂ al. 2011). Further, organizations may use name-blind applications in the hiring process or administer hiring tests for all candidates to ensure that the minimum job requirements are met (Leslie 2019; Dobbin and Kalev 2016). Retention and Limiting Employee Turnover Some initiatives aimed at increasing employee retention and limiting turnover may be used to increase organizational diversity and inclusion. For example, providing on-boarding, new- hire orientation resources, on-the-job training, and presenting realistic job previews may help support diversity by increasing employee retention (Washington etÂ al. 2011; Simpson 2003; Harnack 2010).
Literature Review 99Â Â Additionally, compensation has been identified as a key factor in achieving and main- taining organizational diversity (Newkirk 2019). Organizations may place greater emphasis on paying fair market wages in order to recruit and retain a diverse and qualified workforce (Ivey etÂ al. 2019). Many organizations support mentoring or networking opportunities to increase diversity within the agency (Roberts and Mayo 2019; Kalev etÂ al. 2006). Mentoring may occur through formal programs, formal networks, or informal networks (Kalev etÂ al. 2006; Simpson 2003). These programs or networks, which may include only disadvantaged individuals or people of a certain race/ethnicity or gender, can be a form of âdiversity mentoringâ (Leslie 2019). Other organizations emphasize sponsorships in retaining a diverse workforce. This may include recommending diverse employees for promotions and assignments with high respon- sibilities or sponsoring minority employees for leadership development programs (Roberts and Mayo 2019). Promotion Further human resources strategies aim to increase employee retention through promotion practices. Organizations have identified performance management, career development, and succession planning as key factors that affect diversity (Newkirk 2019). Agencies utilize leadership development programs and executive coaching to prepare minori- ties and women in the workforce for promotions (OPM 2011; Washington etÂ al. 2011). Orga- nizations may support diversity by using performance ratings, offering candid feedback and consideration for promotions, and developing a succession planning system with outreach to a wide variety of potential leaders (Dobbin and Kalev 2016; OPM 2011). Additionally, managing career development across all life stages (including tailored initiatives) has also been used to increase diversity (Roberts and Mayo 2019). Although promotion decisions may be used to improve employee retention, these decisions are not always objective. For example, the vast majority of organizations use performance ratings to identify and reward good workers, and performance rating systems can be cited as a method of preventing bias and therefore of protecting the organization against litigation. Researchers have found, however, that some raters tend to lowball women and minorities in performance reviews. Other managers give all employees good reviews to avoid hassles. Because of these trends, performance ratings are not an effective and reliable way to reduce bias. In fact, these researchers found that introducing performance ratings had no effect on the number of minority managers in the organization in 5Â years, and the number of white women in management fell by 4% on average (Dobbin and Kalev 2016). Diversity Training Diversity trainings are one of the most common approaches to increasing organizational diversity and inclusion. Organizations have named diversity education as vital in increasing diversity within the organization (Newkirk 2019). Government publications have also highlighted the importance of ensuring that all employees have access to diversity training and education (OPM 2011). There is significant variation within diversity training delivery and design. For example, diversity trainings may focus on reducing bias in behavior and actions, may emphasize multi- cultural education or awareness, may include sensitivity training, or may provide more general information about diversity (Roberts and Mayo 2019; Paluck and Green 2009; Simpson 2003; Bezrukova etÂ al. 2012). Trainings may involve on-site speakers, all-staff meetings, focus groups, video training, seminars, workshops, lecture-based trainings, and simulation-based
100 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry exercises. In addition to variety among methods, there is also variation among the number of methods used, with some trainings using multiple approaches and others using only one (Simpson 2003; Bezrukova etÂ al. 2012). Diversity training may also be delivered as a stand-alone training, which often includes a single training session focused on legal and compliance issues, or delivered as an integrated diversity training, which includes training as one part of a system of diversity-related activities. Trainings may also be required or mandatory (about 75% of diversity trainings are mandatory), and the duration of training may vary (Bezrukova etÂ al. 2012). Additionally, trainings may be either group-specific (which focus on race or gender, for example) or inclusive (and emphasize inclusiveness across multiple groups) (Bezrukova etÂ al. 2016). Although diversity trainings continue to be one of the most popular initiatives, researchers examining the effectiveness of diversity trainings have not reached a consensus on the effective- ness of this approach. For example, one study found that trainings improve a variety of cognitive- and skill-based outcomes (Kalinoski etÂ al. 2013), while others reported that these trainings improve the diversity test scores of some participants for about 2Â days (Dobbin and Kalev 2016; Paluck and Green 2009). Communication Within the Organization Human resources strategies may also focus on communication of initiatives and organiza- tional commitment to diversity, and intraorganizational methods of communication. Some approaches, such as new-hire orientation programs and all-staff meetings, are aimed at communicating diversity initiatives throughout the organization (Simpson 2003). These methods may also be an effective way to communicate commitment to diversity and the ways in which diversity is integrated into the organization (Newkirk 2019). Other diversity initiatives attempt to increase communication among employees. For example, some organizations employ self-managed teams (where peers work together toward a common goal) or cross training (where employees rotate through departments and work with a variety of managers) or organize dialogue groups across a variety of individuals (Dobbin and Kalev 2016; Paluck and Green 2009). Some agencies promote employee participation in community-based events outside of work (Simpson 2003). Additionally, strategies may design effective conflict resolution and trainings plans or offer counseling and employee assistance programs in the case of workplace conflict (Roberts 2011; Simpson 2003). Other human resource strategies establish grievance procedures for minorities and women to report issues or instances of discrimination (Dobbin and Kalev 2016). Although firms may communicate a commitment to diversity within their organization, some researchers suggest that diversity initiatives are used by organizations not in good faith, but rather as a form of defense in the event that legal action is taken against them (Newkirk 2019). Such initiatives may lack authority or resources and may therefore be ineffective. Supporting minorities and women through hiring, retention, promotion, training, and communication policies can support diverse workers and increase organizational diversity. Initiatives That Affect the Work Environment Some organizations have initiatives aimed at shaping various aspects of the organizationâs work environment. These approaches improve diversity and inclusion by affecting the organiza- tion through strategic plans, engaging managers, involving employees, or changing the overall culture or physical workspace.
Literature Review 101Â Â Some organizations establish diversity as a core business strategy and develop diversity plans or diversity vision statements (Simpson 2003). Others implement an agency-specific diversity and inclusion strategic plan, then develop and track performance measures and distribute those measures of progress (OPM 2011). Agencies also utilize diversity initiatives through engaging managers. For example, some organizations involve managers in college recruitment programs, in mentoring programs, and in solving diversity problems in the agency (Dobbin and Kalev 2016). Organizations may also benefit by committing resources to training managers to better understand how their identities impact how they interact with others (Cohen and Gavett 2019). Further, some initiatives encourage managers to make employees feel safe and valued, build relationships across team members and leaders, and provide growth opportunities and commu- nicate value to employees. Organizations are also promoting communication and learning at the managerial level by encouraging managers to ask employees what they need, have regular check-ins, ask employees if they feel supported and safe at work, troubleshoot issues, and understand and support their aspirations (Cohen and Gavett 2019). Additionally, agencies may increase diversity at the executive level and allow employees access to senior leadership (OPM 2011). Other organizations have increased the support and engagement of human resources managers. For example, some empower human resources managers to assist managers in advancing inclu- sive behavior, and others have taken steps to formally incorporate diversity and inclusion specialists into the human resources team (Cohen and Gavett 2019; Ivey etÂ al. 2019). Some diversity initiatives attempt to shape the work environment by engaging staff with diversity programs specifically designed to include the entire organization (Roberts and Mayo 2019). Initiatives may increase on-the-job contact with female and minority workers, include employees in staff retreats, or otherwise encourage employees to have relationships with people different than themselves (Dobbin and Kalev 2016; Simpson 2003; Cohen and Gavett 2019). Other staff engagement initiatives include cultural celebrations, diversity poster programs, employee participation in resource groups and incentives for employees (Simpson 2003; OPM 2011; Cohen and Gavett 2019). Finally, initiatives may emphasize changes in the physical work environment or workplace culture. For example, some agencies ensure that physical offices continue to be accessible to all. Others attempt to ensure a welcoming workplace by including diversity and inclusion in workplace planning activities, establishing supportive environments for diverse individuals, creating a culture that values diversity, and maintaining that culture throughout the workplace. Some agencies conduct internal research to assess cultural climate (Ivey etÂ al. 2019; OPM 2011; Cohen and Gavett 2019; Roberts 2011). Other workplace diversity initiatives include an orientation that addresses agency culture and networking opportunities, communication of expectations to leaders, holding staff accountable for upholding company values, and encouraging open conversations about race, especially with senior leaders (OPM 2011; Cohen and Gavett 2019; Roberts and Mayo 2019). Finally, organizations have developed programs to improve workâlife balance, more-flexible workplace policies and more-flexible work arrangements in general (Simpson 2003; Nishii etÂ al. 2018). Such policies are designed to improve the organizational work environment and, in turn, improve agency diversity and inclusion. Initiatives That Establish Accountability or Responsibility Further initiatives establish accountability or responsibility for diversity and inclusion efforts. Approaches may establish accountability throughout the organization and with organization
102 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry leaders (Roberts 2011). For example, some organizations incorporate diversity in performance evaluations, particularly in the evaluations of managers. Agencies may also encourage the con- sideration of diverse candidates when hiring or promoting, with some organizations requiring decision-makers to consider at least one minority candidate for hiring decisions (Washington etÂ al. 2011; Leslie 2019; Newkirk 2019). Some initiatives allocate responsibility to a diversity task force or committee (Dobbin and Kalev 2016; Kalev etÂ al. 2006). These groups may include employees or senior leadership and employee forums (Newkirk 2019). Diversity committees or task forces analyze diversity numbers across organizational levels and recommend solutions, increase engagement when designing new diversity strategies and progress metrics, and spread responsibility for diversity throughout the organization (Dobbin and Kalev 2016; OPM 2011). Effective diversity task forces or committees are given the resources and power to effect change (Roberts 2011). Finally, some organizations establish responsibility for diversity with a single diversity manager, chief diversity officer, or other staffed positions (Leslie 2019). These individuals have the ability to question management about decision-making (Dobbin and Kalev 2016). As with diversity task forces or committees, effective diversity employees are given the necessary power and resources (Roberts 2011). Initiatives That Leverage External Relationships Some organizations leverage partnerships and external relationships as part of their diversity efforts. In addition to increasing diversity, these efforts may also lead to a more qualified work- force (Ivey etÂ al. 2019). For example, some organizations administer media campaigns or distribute newsletters, magazines, pamphlets, and other printed materials aimed at expanding their applicant pool and increasing diversity within their workforce (Paluck and Green 2009; Simpson 2003). Agencies may also work with community organizations that serve populations of interest to gain insight and build relationships that can increase the diversity of applicants (Ivey etÂ al. 2019). Others build relationships and recruit from colleges and other local organizations (Dobbin and Kalev 2016; Harnack 2010). Organizations may also become more diverse by leveraging professional associations, includ- ing professional associations for minority groups or women, providing technical assistance for diverse vendors, and attending seminars and other events where stakeholders share challenges, best practices, and strategies (Washington etÂ al. 2011; Simpson 2003; Ivey etÂ al. 2019). Finally, some initiatives attempt to identify any outstanding barriers to diversity and inclusion. Some organizations continue to evaluate issues such as implicit bias, recruitment practices, and the diversity of their reach and bias in hiring practices (Ivey etÂ al. 2019; OPM 2011). These evaluations may be in the form of diversity evaluations, employee satisfaction and climate surveys, reviews of practices, or general organizational assessments (Kalev etÂ al. 2006; Simpson 2003; OPM 2011). These evaluations often include diverse groups of current employees (Ivey etÂ al. 2019). Equity and Inclusion in Other Aspects of Transit Operations The research team also reviewed research on â¢ Equity and environmental justice, â¢ Fare setting, and â¢ Transit network design.
Literature Review 103Â Â Equity and Environmental Justice This section summarizes relevant research from publications and reports related to equitable treatment of neighborhoods and groups as well as environmental justice in the transit industry. Environmental justice includes efforts to achieve equitable protection from environmental harm and equitable access to benefits across demographic groups. Researchers have found that communities of color and low-income communities are exposed to greater harm and receive fewer benefits from transportation systems as compared with the general population. Transportation-related environmental justice can be understood through costs (including air pollution and noise) and benefits (such as increased accessibility). Although transportation planning agencies are required to analyze the impacts of their plans to address inequity, these reports rarely find that projects could result in disproportionate impacts (Rowangould etÂ al. 2016). Another author argues that a transportation system is fair if and only if it âprovides a sufficient level of accessibility to all under most circumstancesâ (Martens 2016). Some research has evaluated the job accessibility impacts of transit improvements among low-income individuals. The researchers found that a new light rail line in MinneapolisâSt. Paul has generated significant job accessibility benefits for all workers. In some, but not all, areas, low-wage workers benefited more than medium- and high-wage workers (Fan etÂ al. 2012). Other research has focused on the causal relationships that trace why low-income individuals and people of color are disproportionately exposed to pollution. In addition, gentrification prompted by transit system improvements can lead to displacement and further inequity (Banzhaf etÂ al. 2019; Rodier etÂ al. 2015). One of the criticisms of the use of cost-benefit analysis in transportation planning is that they are forward-looking, while environmental justice assessments examine harms that have already occurred (Epting 2016). Researchers have explored various definitions of transportation equity. In general, trans- portation equity refers to the fair distribution of transportation costs and benefits among current and future members of society. In this concept, âfairâ may include a variety of distributions, referred to as âequity standards.â Transportation costs include environmental costs such as direct emissions from auto use, traffic congestion, and noise pollution, as well as the real costs of building, operating, and maintaining the transportation infrastructure. Transportation benefits include reductions in travel time and travel costs as well as improvements in accessibility, mobility, and economic vitality (Bills and Walker 2017). In terms of transit service quality measures, many agencies use measures such as number of routes in an area or frequencies at a specific stop. Accessibility is often measured by walk time proximity, although some may use land use and other characteristics (Welch 2013). Some researchers argue that although many measures of accessibility exist for analyzing transit networks, limited research has been done on developing a tool to measure how equi- table the distribution of transit access is (Welch 2013). Some argue that there is no standard or streamlined method for identifying transportation justice areas across transit agencies (Beiler and Mohammed 2016). Researchers explain that transportation equity can be understood by using two dimensions: horizontal equity and vertical equity. â¢ âHorizontal equityâ refers to the distribution of impacts (i.e., costs and benefits) across groups that are considered equal in ability and need. This type of equity may include spatial and generational equity.
104 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry â¢ âVertical equityâ refers to the distribution of transportation impacts on groups that differ in ability and needs, such as persons with disabilities or special needs and groups across different social and income classes (Bills and Walker 2017). Another author explains that while vertical equity requires that different groups receive different amounts of a benefit, horizontal equity requires that within each group of similar individuals, a similar benefit is received. The two types of equity together imply that transit- dependent groups should have access to equal amounts of quality transit, and those most dependent on transit should receive more access to transit service (Welch 2013). Other researchers have introduced even more frameworks for fairness for transportation. One group has argued that the distributional effects of transport policies should consider the minimum standards of accessibility to key destinations and the extent to which the transit system prioritizes disadvantaged groups, reduces inequalities of opportunities, and mitigates transport externalities (Pereira etÂ al. 2017). Researchers have critiqued the existing equity analysis processes. Criticisms pertain to the unit of analysis used and method of comparing equity indicators. For example, analyses often classify the target group into âcommunities of concernâ or environmental justice communities. Identification may be done according to a variety of factors, such as income or ethnicity, but they typically have a high concentration of minority and low-income residents. These com- munities may be by census tract or travel analysis zones and, because of aggregation, can create bias when the impact on population segments is being evaluated. Because segments of both populations likely live in both areas, this method makes it impossible to isolate the impacts for the different groups (Bills and Walker 2017; Karner 2018). Additionally, researchers note that the use of equity indicators can be problematic, as frequently the mean indicator values are compared across population segments. This method does not reveal individual-level outcomes (Bills and Walker 2017). There is considerable research on potential improvements to measuring transportation equity. One set of researchers proposed an alternative equity analysis approach that uses disaggregated data from activity-based travel demand models (Bills and Walker 2017). Most existing research defines equity in this context as equal distribution of accessibility, or the ease of reaching a number of key activities and opportunities (although not all scholars consider the same activities âkeyâ). Fare Pricing Researchers have also explored equity in public transit fare pricing. Studies have found that transit-dependent groups often travel more frequently and during off-peak hours, often use buses more than rail, and make more transfers between modes of transit. Minorities and low-income households are disproportionately represented among the transit dependent (Taylor and Jones 2012). These factors affect equity in fare pricing. There are a variety of types of transit fare structures, including flat fees, distance-based fares, zone-based fares, pricing based on service type, time-of-day pricing, and concession fares (i.e., fares sold by different agencies to different groups at various discount levels, for example, student passes and senior passes). Some agencies use a combination of pricing strategies, and prices may also vary depending on the method of payment, for example, transit card users versus those who pay in cash (Ma etÂ al. 2017; Lipscombe 2016). Horizontal equity in terms of pricing can be described as when there is equal distribution among equal members of society. In the context of transit pricing, horizontal equity is achieved
Literature Review 105Â Â when passengers pay as much as they use. Vertical equity in transit pricing requires that the costs and benefits are distributed according to the usersâ need for the service or their capability for payment. Disparities between the benefit a passenger receives (trip length) and cost (fare) imply inequality. In the social equity literature, researchers note that pricing structures are efficient when riders contribute to the costs of their services in line with the benefits they receive (as reflected by the marginal costs of their trips). However, fares are considered equitable when they take into account the income capacities of riders (Bandegani and Akbarzadeh 2016). One research paper proposed three criteria for equitably setting fares: â¢ The benefit criterion, or the idea that people should pay for services in proportion to the benefits they receive from them; â¢ The cost criterion, which is the idea that people should be charged for the use of the service in proportion to the cost of providing the service to them; and â¢ The ability to pay criterion, or the idea that the amount people should be charged for the service should be in proportion to their wealth (Nuworsoo etÂ al. 2009). Some researchers note that many analysts favor distance-based fares in equity analyses; however, they argue that it is not necessarily as clear-cut as it seems. They cite spatial mismatch (defined as significant spatial separation between low-income and minority households and suitable locations of employment or other participation), and note that distance-based fares may increase out-of-pocket expenses for spatially mismatched households that have long-distance travel routines. Such a change may result in increased use of cars and, therefore, increased green- house gas emissions, more traffic accidents, and increased traffic congestion. These factors must be considered when the social benefits and the economic and environmental costs of distance-based fares are being evaluated (Farber etÂ al. 2014). Some authors conclude that finding the ideal mix of horizontal and vertical equity is subjective and depends on values (namely, the extent to which government agencies should redistribute income to increase equality) as well as efficiency and effectiveness (considering factors such as congestion during peak periods and limited mobility for those who urgently need transit). They argue that, previously, transit agencies have used policies such as distance-based fares to increase fare equity (operating on the assumption that those living farther from the city have higher incomes). Now, however, with that assumption not holding and an increasing amount of travel data, agencies may consider a different fare pricing structure (Haney etÂ al. 2019). Other researchers argue that subsidized transit fares or variable pricing models based on income should be used to increase overall social equity in a community (Bullard etÂ al. 2012). Some researchers note that transit fare and justice have not been researched as thoroughly as the other transportation equity topics and that existing research remains largely theoretical. The authors of the present report identified only one existing empirical paper (Zhou etÂ al. 2019) that evaluates the spatial and equity implications of various fare structures. Transit Network Design This section discusses transportation network design and the ways in which transit routes are determined. However, there is limited research on transit network design as it relates to discrimination and inequality. There are many ways to design a transit network in a community, each with different equity outcomes. For example, one study presents a set of 69 approaches (and combinations of approaches) to dealing with network design, frequency setting, and timetabling (Guihaire and Hao 2008).
106 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry Some researchers who have analyzed transit networks use horizontal criteria to divide equity into modal and spatial equity: â¢ Modal equity includes the travel time between the origin and destination of each mode, where modes are divided into passenger car and transit and the travel time of each mode is the total travel time from the origin to the destination. Modal equity is achieved when the difference between transit travel time and automobile travel time is negligible because of the transit network (Kim etÂ al. 2019; Ferguson etÂ al. 2012). â¢ Spatial equity is achieved when the difference in modal equity among regions is negligible because priority is given to transit improvements in regions with lower modal equity (Kim etÂ al. 2019). Some of the literature concerning transit network design places this issue in the larger context of racial discrimination in the built environment. One author explains that the built environ- ment, characterized by man-made physical features that make it difficult for certain individuals to access certain places, can be used as a mechanism of exclusion. She notes that certain bridges were designed to be low so that buses could not reach certain destinations and that walls, fences and highways separate historically white neighborhoods from historically black ones. Addition- ally, wealthier communities often decline to be served by public transit, making it difficult for transit-dependent individuals to access their neighborhoods. These built-environment factors act as a form of regulation, often without individuals realizing it (Schindler 2015). Other studies explore the relationship between race and travel. There is considerable literature on spatial mismatch, where African Americans have worse employment outcomes because of job inaccessibility, have lower rates of residential mobility, and experience housing and labor market discrimination. Studies have found a connection between increasing concentrations of minorities and decreasing accessibility and lower levels of transit service. Although different measures of spatial mismatch exist, researchers argue that using any of these measures alone or highly aggregated is not appropriate, as travel-related behavior varies by group. They argue that planning agencies must spatially distinguish the information derived from their decision- making tools (including travel-demand models) and link this information to race and ethnicity. Research on travel behavior rarely considers race and ethnicity as an explanatory variable, even though multiple studies have found that race and ethnicity have an effect on travel behavior after controlling for income, family structure, land use, and accessibility (Karner and Niemeier 2013). Transit Issues from 2020 The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has upended industries, workplaces, hiring, and employ- ment practices of all sectors throughout the nation. Public transit agencies, which provide outward facing, in-person services, were hit hard by the virus and the public health actions taken by local governments to restrict movement by means of lockdown measures. The research team reviewed relevant studies and reports on the impact of COVID-19 on transit agencies and provides a summary of information on the following topics: â¢ Decrease in ridership; â¢ Loss of transit agency revenues; â¢ Layoffs, furloughs, and unemployment; â¢ Impact on contracting programs; and â¢ Opportunities for post-pandemic diversity and equity initiatives. Decrease in Ridership The year 2020 began on a high note for most transit agencies. At the end of 2019, public transportation had seen a yearlong increase in ridership that led many agencies and local
Literature Review 107Â Â governments to add new routes (or increase the frequency of popular routes), pave bus-only lanes, install more transit signals, and update fare payment systems with âtap and goâ credit card turnstiles or e-fare kiosks (Comfort 2020). However, as the novel coronavirus swept through the country, government restrictions and health concerns limited the movement of people and their need for public transit. At its peak, ridership on WMATAâs Metrorail dropped 90%, and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system saw a 97% decline (Puentes 2020). Nationally, airports saw a 96% reduction in air travelers (TRB 2020a). This was not a solely American phenomenon; internationally, transit agencies have seen ridership decrease by an average of 60% to 90%, with commuter services hit hardest (Comfort 2020). Much of this ridership loss has been attributed to the new norm of working remotely from home (Puentes 2020). It is important to note that loss of ridership during the pandemic has varied according to transportation- and rider-type. Analysts have attributed decreased ridership to racial and socioeconomic factors. Transit systems that serve economically comfortable commuters (e.g., subways and rail) experienced a more severe drop in ridership, while systems that serve econo- mically disadvantaged groups that tend to be racial minorities (e.g., buses) experienced a lighter drop in ridership. For example, while WMATAâs Metrorail ridership fell by 90%, bus ridership on King County Metro decreased only by 60% (Puentes 2020). Other cities, such as St. Louis, Missouri, and Richmond, Virginia, have seen bus ridership decrease by 40% (Puentes 2020). Those who typically use heavy rail tend to be commuters with flexible employment that can be done remotely from home, while those who ride buses typically are the essential workers whose labor must be conducted on-site and on whom the nation has relied heavily during the pandemic. Loss of Revenue Decreased ridership has resulted in a significant loss of revenue for most transit systems. Following is a list of revenues lost by major transit agencies: â¢ In April 2020, BART was reported to be losing an estimated $55 million per month (Welle and Avelleda 2020). â¢ In July 2020, Seattleâs King County Metro system projected a loss of roughly $600 million in revenue through 2022 (Lindblom 2020). â¢ Philadelphiaâs Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) system anticipated a $300 million loss in revenues from 2020 to July 2021 (Madej 2020). â¢ Marylandâs Transportation Trust Fund ended its fiscal year in JuneÂ 2020 with a $550Â million shortfall and expects to see a similar deficit in FY 2021 (Wilen 2020). â¢ In 2020, the Los Angeles Metro projected a $1.8 billion revenue loss by 2021 (Linton 2020). â¢ In MayÂ 2020, the Chicago Transit Authority anticipated a $500Â million loss in revenue for the remainder of the year (Rogers 2020). â¢ New York Cityâs Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will very likely experience the largest revenue deficit in the nation, with an expected loss of $8.5Â billion (De La Garza 2020). Fiscal concerns are exacerbated by increased operating costs related to preventative cleaning and sanitation and supplying workers with adequate personal protective equipment. Layoffs, Furloughs, and Unemployment While mass transit agencies and airports were granted some reprieve with the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in JulyÂ 2020, fiscal pressures have led some agencies to lay off and/or furlough employees (Davis 2020). In a survey conducted by APTA in SeptemberÂ 2020, 35% of agencies had furloughed staff, 30% had laid off employees,
108 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry and 60% had cut back on hiring (APTA 2020). Depressed levels of employment have occurred in air, heavy rail and ground transit. TableÂ B-2 shows the impact of COVID-19 on employment across transit and transportation subsectors. Public transit as a sector has not fully recovered from the initial shock of the pandemic. TableÂ B-2 indicates that the United States lost about 260,000 jobs from January to September 2020. Transit agency leaders expect this number to grow if additional federal funding is not provided (APTA 2020). Since March 2020, transit workers who have survived furloughs and layoffs have fallen into two camps: those who could work remotely (e.g., administrative staff and engineers), and those who must work on-site to provide in-person services (e.g., drivers, conductors, mechanics, and cleaners). The latter group has faced new hazards at work. Compared with other occupations, public-facing transit workers are at a higher risk for contracting the novel coronavirus because of regular contact with members of the public, working in enclosed spaces without the ability to maintain social distancing, and the delay in instituting safety measures when the virus began to spread in the Spring (NYU 2020). Transit agencies have taken precautionary measures and instituted protective policies, such as limiting the number of riders per vehicle, requiring face masks, and increased cleaning. Unfortunately, the nature of public transportation is one of high risk, and workers have contracted and died of the virus. As of July 2020, more than 4,000 employees of the New York City MTA tested positive for COVID-19, and 131 had died from the virus (De La Garza 2020). Exacerbating the stress of transit workers is the complex balance of work, parenthood, andâ owing to closures of schools and adult and child care facilitiesâeducation and caretaking. Women and mothers, in particular, shoulder the bulk of these new burdens, which can be overwhelming and consume energy and resources (Cohen and Hsu 2020). There has yet to be a study specifically on transit workers on this topic, but it is reasonable to assume that transit employees who are parentsâparticularly working mothersâare faced with these same growing obstacles and obligations. Women have also been disproportionately more likely to lose their jobs during the pandemic as layoffs have continued (Cohen and Hsu 2020). They are not, however, the only disadvantaged population to experience this. Younger workers and racial minorities face higher rates of layoffs and unemployment than their older, white counterparts (Reinicke 2020). For context, near the height of unemployment in June 2020, Hispanic unemployment across the nation rose to 18.9%, and African American unemployment reached 16.7%. White unemployment during this time was 14.2% (Reinicke 2020). With regard to age, Generation Z workers (aged 16 to 23) experienced an unemployment rate of 34.1% (Reinicke 2020). While these statistics represent overall job loss across all industries, they hint at deeper inequalities based on gender, race, and age that likely plague public transit, and thus should be considered when the impact of COVID-19 on the transit workforce is being considered. Transit and Transportation Subsector Number of Employees (thousands) Jan. â20 Feb. â20 Mar. â20 Apr. â20 May â20 June â20 July â20 Aug. â20 Sept. â20 Ground 507.5 508.2 501.8 317.0 311.4 314.5 335.0 346.2 367.6 Air 509.2 511.2 512.1 433.1 383.8 378.6 395.4 405.9 404.3 Rail 160.7 159.9 159.4 154.4 148.0 145.5 145.3 145.8 145.9 Source: Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2020a, 2020b, 2020c) aggregated by Keen Independent Research. Table B-2. Impact of COVID-19 on transit employment sectors.
Literature Review 109Â Â The long-term impact of losing oneâs job or taking time off to care for family is significant. Individuals see an extended reduction in their earning potential and occupational mobility. Those who remain jobless for âtoo longâ will likely face difficulty returning to their chosen occupa- tions as well. As Cohen and Hsu (2020) write, âthe inequities that existed before [the pandemic] are now âon steroids.ââ Impact on Contracting Programs The downturn in ridership has had an impact on transit agency contracting, construction, and, in the case of air transit, concessionaires. However, specialists such as attorney Mara Rosales, coauthor of ACRP Research Report 217 (see discussion in the section on workforce diversity above), does not see this depressed period as one that cannot or should not support equity and diver- sity measures (TRB 2020b). Rosales has recommended that transit agencies continue to pro- mote and help diverse and small business owners by means of the following techniques: â¢ Ensure small businesses are paid on time. â¢ Assess whether contracts can be transitioned to higher priority work rather than be withdrawn. â¢ Offer rent assistance or other economic relief to concessionaires. â¢ Evaluate how project alterations affect local communities economically, with a specific eye on small-, minority- and women-owned business enterprises (TRB 2020b). Thus while formal diversity and equity initiatives targeting contractors and construction firms may have slowed or be at a standstill, transit agency leaders can still promote equity through other means. Postpandemic Opportunities The long-term implications of COVID-19 on public transit, employment, hiring, and equity initiatives are still unknown. However, some view the pandemic and the period soon after as an opportunity to create more equitable workforces, work environments, and community business partnerships. Efforts at structural equity may be more effective in the postpandemic period as new employees enter the workplace and transit agency policies are reviewed and revisited. Buchanan and Rivera (2020) offer five ways agencies can approach equity in the post-COVID-19 era: â¢ Revise employment payment structures to be more equitable, â¢ Improve communication channels within departments, â¢ Revise hiring and career advancement practices, â¢ Provide more funding to race and equity offices, and â¢ Set time-specific equity performance goals. Such measures may be difficult for agencies to commit to, as the pandemic has depleted revenues and resources. However, transit agency leadership ought to make efforts to increase equity and diversity to prevent stagnation and take advantage of the new workplace landscape after COVID-19.
110 Interviews with Transit Agencies Approach to In-Depth Interviews with Transit Agencies In-Depth Interviews The research team prepared an interview guide and a plan for identifying and contacting inter- viewees. The team began conducting in-depth interviews with agency leaders, human resources professionals, and others with diversity and inclusion responsibilities (regarding procurement, transit customers, community interface, and so forth) for a cross section of large and small public-sector transit organizations. An attempt also was made to include one private rideshare organization but the contacted individuals did not respond. As with the research teamâs other studies for TRB, comments are included in the report but not attributed to specific interviewees. The results of these interviews are used to inform each aspect of the report. Interview Guide The research team developed an interview guide that started with background about the research, participation instructions, and notification of recording. Additionally, it asked for back- ground information and included questions about diversity and inclusion programs. The inter- view guide was approved by the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) project panel. The questions included in the interview guide are as follows: â¢ What does diversity and inclusion mean to you? How is it defined within your agency? â¢ Why is diversity and inclusion important to your organization? Is it more important for specific agency functions? If so, what functions? â¢ [If implemented] How is diversity and inclusion put into practice in various functions of your agency? [If not mentioned, ask about personnel, procurement, service provision, public engagement, other.] â¢ Which staff positions are responsible for different aspects of diversity and inclusion within the organization? How could these positions receive more support? (What would the âorg chartâ for different aspects of diversity and inclusion look like?) â¢ Briefly describe the history of diversity and inclusion practices within your organization. How long have different practices been in place? What prompted their initiation? â¢ What measures are used to gauge the success of these practices or initiatives? â¢ Are diversity and inclusion measures at your transit agency improving, getting worse or staying the same? Why? [If not mentioned, ask function by function.] â¢ Are there gaps in the diversity and inclusion efforts at your agency? If so, are they being addressed? How? A P P E N D I X C
Interviews with Transit Agencies 111Â Â â¢ As your organization has implemented or refined diversity and inclusion practices, where do you go for advice or other information on best practices? What resources do you tap? What, if anything, would you like to know that isnât readily available? â¢ What should I have asked about that I didnât? Interviewee Plan Interviewees were contacted on the basis of a tiered structure, first with leadership, second with human resources representatives, and third with others having diversity and inclusion responsibilities (regarding procurement, transit customers, community interface, and other aspects of operations and governance). An online search resulted in contact information, including email addresses and phone numbers, which were used to reach leadership or its representatives at each of the participating transit agencies. Initial communications were sent via email, which included an attached letter from the Transportation Research Board (TRB). In some cases, transit agency leadership referred the research team to additional contacts within the agencies. After each of the first-tier transit agency interviewees was contacted, second- tier communications were made with human resources representatives whose contact infor- mation was retrieved either via recommendation from leadership (or their representatives) or from an online search. Further contact information was collected from recommendations by agency representatives throughout the interview process. Final communications were made to remaining third-tier interviewees. Where emails did not result in returned communication, calls were made to designated contact persons or to phone numbers that were found in the online search or provided by first- and second-tier interviewees. Qualitative Information from In-Depth Interviews Interviews Conducted The research team initially proposed a total of 24 in-depth interviews, eight with agency leadership, eight with human resources directors, and eight with other staff. Additionally, TCRP requested that the research team contact one private ridesharing company, Via. The research team was able to complete in-depth interviews and group discussions with 37 interviewees from 13 agencies, including transit agenciesâ chief executive officers, chief operating officers, general managers, and division and department managers, as well as repre- sentatives from HR, civil rights, procurement, and other departments, including public engage- ment, learning and organizational development, communications, and change management. Interviewees provided background information on the state of diversity and inclusion within their agencies. To encourage open discussion, interviewees were informed that their comments would be reported in aggregate and coded as #I-01, #I-02, and so forth. Key themes from these interviews follow. Define Diversity and Inclusion Interviewees described diversity and inclusionâboth how it relates to them and how it is defined within their agencies. â¢ âIt means that it is accepting of diversity of all types and that I donât have to assimilate. That I can be myself.â [#I-02]
112 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry â¢ âWhen we talk about diversity and inclusion here, we talk about providing a welcoming environment thatâs free of judgement and embraces different cultures and ways of life.â [#I-07] â¢ âI view diversity and inclusion as making sure that Iâm considerate of including people from different walks of life with different backgrounds.â [#I-09] â¢ âInclusion is perhaps more important somehow than diversity.â âYou can bring all kinds of different people together, but are they really included? Or are you creating the beginnings of a hostile work environment?â [#I-01] â¢ âInclusion is about making sure that people feel like the parts of them that make them different are welcome.â [#I-04] â¢ âDiversity and inclusion means . . . recognizing that all people are different and that is a gift to any organization. That we should not only recognize that people are different, but we should look to those differences and appreciate them. . . . [We should] create environments . . . that allow those differences to provide input into decision-making, allow those differences to rise to the top in an organization, allow those differences to participate in decisions about what the organization is doing and to generally make a difference because people are dif- ferent.â [#I-19] Support Compliance Policies through Culture Transit agency representatives discussed the evolution of compliance-based diversity initia- tives to mission-based initiatives over time. Using Policy as a Tool Diversity policy is an essential tool designed to hold organizational leaders accountable for inclusive practices, according to interviewees at many transit organizations. For most agencies interviewed, diversity went beyond meeting federal requirements. â¢ âWell, certainly employment is [responsible for diversity] because I monitor the numbers to see whoâs coming in and what sites theyâre utilizing because I donât want any excuses about hiring a âhomogeneous groupâ into the company when, in fact, the people that we service are diverse.â [#I-02] â¢ âObviously we would hope that people would follow it because itâs the âright thing to doâ but if, for whatever reason, they have difficulty understanding that, there are policies in place that make them comply.â [#I-02] â¢ â[B]ut then . . . division heads are responsible for what goes on in their division.â [#I-02] â¢ âWhether itâs mandated by the federal government or not, we would still approach [diversity] that way and we would still do [diversity initiatives].â [#I-18] There was recognition among transit agency leadership that many of the diversity efforts are required. For example, âEverybody in the public sector has to do an affirmative action plan.â [#I-22] Going Beyond Compliance Although compliance is still an important reason for diversity, many agencies have attempted to build diversity and inclusion into organizational cultures. They say they would promote diversity and inclusion even if there were no requirements. This is one way interviewees described how diversity initiatives have evolved over time. â¢ âI think if we were the poster child for anything, itâs probably just doing our best to incor- porate [diversity and inclusion] as part of our culture and not necessarily calling it out as a separate âcheck box.ââ [#I-36]
Interviews with Transit Agencies 113Â Â â¢ âItâs not just that we follow the law, but itâs that we recognize that there are differences, and we celebrate those and are excited about those.â [#I-04] â¢ âWe also define diversity as different from compliance. âComplianceâ [is] the things that we have to do by law.â [#I-19] â¢ âWeâre trying to look at a more global approach on equity.â [#I-21] â¢ âWeâve started implementing across the entire agency a different culture and I think thatâs made a huge difference.â [#I-35] â¢ âWhen people talked about diversity and inclusion, they were talking in terms of equal employment opportunity . . . and they were putting people in buckets. . . . And so we estab- lished a strategy that was about awareness, . . . where we communicated to all employees that diversity included all of them, that it was more than compliance, that everyone is to be appreciated for who they are and we encourage them to be who they are and bring their whole selves to work.â [#I-19] Some agencies described a fairly recent evolution from âcompliance-drivenâ diversity efforts to those that support the strategic vision of the organization. â¢ âI think that the culture in this organization has changed over the last 3 or 4Â years to a more inclusive culture, and . . . an accountability culture versus an entitlement culture. I think in going around talking to folks, I think weâve made a lot of progress toward a culture of high morale and accountability and diversity and inclusion . . . if itâs a compliance issue for everybody to get along, that doesnât make sense to me.â [#I-10] â¢ âThe diversity measures we had when I started were focused on the affirmative action plan . . . but thatâs not the sole effort that helps to create a culture of diversity and inclusion. Over the last 3Â years, and particularly this last year, weâve started to define what diversity and inclusion means beyond compliant, beyond baseline. We want our employees to be more connected with our community . . . to understand that [we] are open to everyone. . . . [A]nd then how do we help people understand that they can be whoever they are, as it helps to accomplish our goals.â [#I-22] However, some agencies still operate diversity programs because of the requirements they face: âI think most of our diversity programs have been âcompliance drivenâ . . . and thereâs nothing wrong with that . . . but I think that your motives are echoed very loudly when itâs just compliance-based versus changing a culture.â [#I-01] Defining Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Many interviewees emphasized the importance of building a culture where diversity is integrated into the overarching mission of the transit agency and other affiliated systems. Comments from transit agency representatives included the following: â¢ âI use an equation: Diversity equals equity + inclusion. Thatâs kind of what diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to me. Diversity in the workplace is really a function of equitable action on the part of the organization, combined with inclusive behavior on the part of the orga- nization.â [#I-20] â¢ âWe added the lens of equity and weâve made that a part of our committeeâs charter. Equity says itâs more about breaking down some of those barriers that we find, whether itâs in dif- ferent levels of professional development or hiring or really anything.â [#I-04] Expanding Inclusiveness Initiatives Over Time Some transit agency representatives reported on the evolution of how diversity and inclusion have changed at their agencies. â¢ âIn terms of the broad perspective that we have on diversity, sure it is race, gender, national origin, and all those things, . . . but itâs much broader than that. Itâs culture, itâs different
114 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry age groups, itâs very broad in terms of how people think and bring all of that into the workplace. We have programs around that and work to make sure that folks feel included.â [#I-13] â¢ âWe want to make sure that everyone is celebrated and everyone feels like theyâre welcome here.â [#I-29] A few interviewees specifically recognized lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) communities as a growing focus at their agencies, even when there is still work to do. Comments included the following: â¢ âWe not only are active LGBTQ employers; we also participate in the [Pride] parades. . . . [T]hose are direct actions that show the community how we are inclusive.â [#I-03] â¢ âOne thing that weâre seeing a lot now is peopleâs pronoun descriptors. . . . We have tried to do more outreach at specific events such as the gay pride event.â [#I-07] â¢ âWhere I think we have some work to do would be with some of the ânewer initiatives,â and that is with the LGBTQ community. . . . [W]eâre not there.â [#I-01] Learn from Public Perception Inclusiveness from the Publicâs Perspective A number of interviewees reported that to achieve diversity and inclusion within a transit agency, an agency must mirror the diverse communities it serves. â¢ âWe have a very diverse community, and . . . the organization mirroring that diversity is what our goal is.â [#I-03] â¢ âOur company is reflective of the public that we serve. . . . We do hire diversity throughout the companyâthatâs our mission, thatâs our mandate.â [#I-02] â¢ âWe serve the general population of our service area so . . . [diversity] is overarching in all areas.â [#I-05] â¢ âIf we want to have people work here, they have to see themselves within this institution. . . . We also are serving a diverse community, so . . . they would like to be able to see people that look like themselves providing the service.â [#I-02] â¢ âTo me, diversity is a reflection of the local marketplace . . . that our employees are a reflection of the local marketplace in every respect . . . in terms of ethnicity, gender, race, etc.â [#I-32] â¢ âIn order to serve the community, we need to look and believe and feel like the community weâre serving. . . . [T]hat is the best way to make up a workforce . . . have it representative of the population that you are serving.â [#I-01] â¢ âFrom an HR standpoint, we want to make sure that we have a diverse workforce so that we have the best people working in the jobs that we can, and we want to make sure that we also mirror our demographic.â [#I-17] Sustaining Communities Through Transportation Some transit agency representatives reported on how transportation can connect with and sustain communities of all kinds. â¢ âItâs an opportunity to provide equal involvement by all individuals involved in transportation, whether itâs sexual orientation, ethnic background, fiscal abilityâitâs truly bringing all parties together within the community we serve to provide the . . . modes of transportation . . . needed for the commuters to survive.â [#I-23] â¢ âWeâre working through this right now; weâre trying to rebrand the organization, and through that process, weâre able to see a lot of research that tells us what our riders think of us. . . .
Interviews with Transit Agencies 115Â Â Thereâs what we as senior managers think and feel about our organization and . . . then thereâs what our rider populations think of us and think about what we do and the decisions that we make. . . . [W]eâre hearing very clearly . . . that a large segment of our rider population doesnât feel that we care about them, that we arenât connecting with them in a way that they feel weâre making decisions that show and demonstrate that we care about them as residents of this county . . . [our] rider population is . . . lower-income riders, and they feel . . . we donât treat them fairly or equitably, so . . . being public facing, I think thatâs a problem . . . thereâs a huge disconnect here. . . . Itâs really a great point in time for us to âself-check and hone in onâ the things internally that weâre doing . . . that relate to diversity . . . to inclusion.â [#I-09] Build Diversity within the Organization Transit agency representatives commented on how they build diversity within their agencies. Leadership and Management For some, diversity starts at the top. However, at leadership and management levels, diverse groups may be underrepresented in some transit agencies. Comments included the following: â¢ âFrom the very, very top, all the way down to right at the bottom.â [#I-33] â¢ âI would say first of all that diversity and inclusion from a transit standpoint in my mind means making sure that the leadership in the organization is reflective of the population that we serve as best we can.â [#I-10] â¢ âAnd I think that emanates from the âtop down.â When people see a diverse senior leader- ship team, then they begin to think, you know, diversity is valued here.â [#I-10] â¢ âUltimately the âbus stops hereâ as the VP of HR, but thereâs a responsibility for diversity and inclusion all the way down to our supervisors and leads and dispatch and so we all kind of work together.â [#I-17] â¢ âThe diversity-and-inclusion âhatâ is worn across the board from all executive levels . . . and then of course itâs practiced all the way down to the frontline supervisors . . . weâre working with our employees.â [#I-23] â¢ â[HR] wants to be really clear that just because someone does something different or believes something different [it] cannot be [perceived as] a negative thing. . . . [A]ll levels of leadership are also charged with the same thing.â [#I-01] â¢ âI donât think our management reflects the diversity of our community, and I think thatâs an area that we have put more emphasis on. . . . In our management staff, I believe that there are a lot of white people and older peopleâour average age is like 54; we have a very tenured staff.â [#I-07] â¢ âIf you saw a picture of our chief level positions you would identify that they all look pretty similar.â [#I-01] Workforce Recruitment A few transit agency representatives reported on workforce recruitment as well as the importance of having diversity advocates among HR staff. For some, ânepotismâ is a barrier to increasing diversity. Another reported that recruitment should focus on who âbrings the best package to the table.â These comments included the following: â¢ âWeâve specifically targeted our residents to show that [the agency] is a place where we recognize diversity and where we specifically are making it a priority to build a workforce that reflects our community.â [#I-03] â¢ âI want to be able to get the diverse population we serve and keep that momentum throughout all the ranks of our agency. . . . I would charge my entire HR and training department as true
116 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry advocates of diversity and inclusion because at every level of hiring, training, promotion, and termination, they have to really understand not only the bare minimum requirements of the law but [that] they have to understand the direction of [the agency].â [#I-01] â¢ âOne of the things that we did just recently do this past year is we looked at our nepotism and realized that it was kind of hurting us in [our recruitment efforts], especially in our transit operator ranks, because we have so many families that work here, and then theyâre sort of in the know and then their families know when to apply.â [#I-07] â¢ âIf you saw a picture of our chief level positions, you would identify that they all look pretty similar. So, on the surface it may appear that there is not a strong diversity effort. I have sat on the interview panels, as we have had an exceptionally diverse group of people applying for and interviewing for the positions that we were filling as the chief level positions and what we were definitely looking for is the best fit, as well as buying into the culture here. So again, it would appear that diversity is not on the forefront, but it really is. It looks to be a particular way, and I think there then becomes this effort to . . . [dictate that] the next chief position has to be a minority or a male or âa this or a thatâ instead of focusing on who is going to bring the very best package to the table to best impact the entire agency.â [#I-01] Emphasizing Equitable Advancement Some transit representatives pointed out the importance of fairness in advancement, others emphasized advancement from within. For instance: â¢ â[Diversity means] creating opportunities . . . for growth and development for all employees at every level. . . . I want to have a plan . . . for somebody to grow into a leadership role.â [#I-01] â¢ âIâm the first African American to hold a seat of COO . . . and I believe [one other in leader- ship] . . . is the first minority woman to own that seat, so when youâre looking at it from an executive level, there is movement in that regard in that area. So, trying to promote from within is a big focus.â [#I-23] Diversity Training Although many interviewees reported staff training on diversity, some transit agency repre- sentatives spoke about the challenge of reaching all employees. â¢ âMany of our employees . . . theyâre in bus depots, theyâre in train yards, theyâre now on the ground under the tracks, and not everyone has access to a computer, and so we need to figure out how we make sure that all employees have access to all information and that they are able to participate in the things that many of the employees participate in.â [#I-19] â¢ âWe do [training] much better with our administrative employees, folks that are in the offices. We do have issues with our operators, so we have [500+] operators and thereâs just no way we can take them all off their work to do it, but we do try to at least provide some paid time and go to our computer lab to do the required trainings. I canât guarantee it gets done every year.â [#I-07] â¢ â[After funding losses in 2000â2008, we are replacing past initiatives with] online tools and in-person training.â [#I-07] Encourage Diversity in Decision-Making Interviewees identified âdiversity of thoughtâ as a defining characteristic of diversity and inclusion, as well as an important contribution to decision-making. â¢ âWe also understand that with diversity is diversity of thought.â [#I-06] â¢ âDiversity is not only identifying people who look different, came from different backgrounds, and came from different communities . . . itâs also diversity in thought.â [#I-01]
Interviews with Transit Agencies 117Â Â â¢ â[W]e are making sure that we are including everyone, respecting everyone, trusting every- one, and that we involve others to make decisions and help make decisions within the organization.â [#I-35] â¢ âNot only does it mean we attract and bring those people into the organization, but that they have a voice and that their opinion is valued, and it is included in our decision-making and how we run the organization. So, itâs not just okay we bring them in, but how are they valued in terms of their contribution to the organization.â [#I-15] â¢ âWhen we do projects, we try to make sure that we have a wide array of thoughts because anytime that weâre trying to make decisions for the organization, we need to make sure we have as broad [a] spectrum as possible.â [#I-04] â¢ âAn organization is stronger when you have a diverse set of experiences and a diverse set of thought leadership; thatâs really how you solve complicated and complex problems.â [#I-20] â¢ âI have a â2 Ã 2 matrixâ that I use to explain [diversity]. And it comes down to diversity of thought and diversity of experience. . . . Thatâs the benefit of diversity for a large organization. When you have that many employees across multiple business units, . . . having diverse experience and diverse thought really makes your organization stronger and puts better problem-solving teams together.â [#I-20] â¢ âCreate environments . . . that allow . . . differences to provide input into decision-making . . . allow those differences to rise to the top in an organization, allow those differences to participate in decisions about what the organization is doing.â [#I-19] Ensure a Level Playing Field in Transit Procurements Many transit agency representatives reported on the need to be inclusive in transit procurement opportunities, including expanding minority business pipelines and opening up opportunities for small subcontractors to prime some jobs. â¢ â[C]onsidering the diverse populations that we serve; they should also be reflected in the projects, and our projects should be looked at through that lens as well.â [#I-10] â¢ âWe want to make sure that what we do from a contracting side is equitable, that there are no barriers that could prohibit woman- and minority-owned companies to participate in our contracting activities, that thereâs a level playing field, and that what we do in terms of how our dollars are spent reflect[s] the business community.â [#I-18] â¢ âWe werenât meeting the goals that were established by the authority, and so we started reaching out into the community, growing our small business diversity minority âbus line.ââ [#I-12] â¢ âWe hear from diverse businesses, âWhat is our ladder for growth? We want to participate in your contractsâitâs great to be a sub, but what I would like to do is grow my business with you . . . have the opportunity to bid this work as a prime.ââ [#I-20] â¢ â[To level the playing field] weâre working on finalizing dashboards that will give a â360-degree viewâ of a construction project that will tell us [those] contributions to our equity programs . . . relative to all of the other projects and programs that we have.â [#I-20] â¢ â[To ensure a level playing field] I am in the process of writing up the best practices for our DBE Program. . . . Iâm compiling . . . documented best practices for the good-faith efforts, for prompt payments, for commercially useful function verification, for setting goals.â [#I-08] Measure Success Across Divisions and Departments Transit agency representatives reported on how they measure the outcomes of diversity and inclusion initiatives across departments.
118 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry Take the Pulse One transit agency relied on taking the âpulseâ of the agency to gauge effectiveness of diversity and inclusion initiatives: âFor us itâs organic; I take the âpulseâ of the organization.â [#I-23] Another said, âeverybody has a role in ensuring we maintain diversity here.â [#I-20] Consider Employee Complaints Other agencies used the number of employee complaints as a metric. â¢ âThe number of complaints that are filed within employee relations would be a good indicator as to whether or not things are working.â [#I-02] â¢ âWhenever we did our initial brainstorm [regarding metrics for success], people wanted to use these compliance factors, like letâs see if we decrease the number of complaints.â [#I-01] Measure Compliance Some relied on EEO compliance and other factors. â¢ âWe have placement goals that are part of our EEO program, so we have just hard metrics around what are our categories that weâre setting placement goals and what are the positions and what are the goals for underrepresented minorities and/or women. One of the things that I am initiating is a formal audit of our hiring and our organizationâs job tracks.â [#I-20] â¢ âWe measure it at the EEO level for occupational codes but also at the level of management . . . [we measure at the executive director level] how many women are there . . . we havenât really had a lot of measures other than we look at how weâre recruiting and people participating in the program and we have a measure that we use in our employee engagement survey for measuring how well weâre doing in our efforts.â [#I-04] â¢ âFrom a compliance perspective, there is a council for economic inclusion survey that we have done over the years.â [#I-22] Track Information Across Departments Some tracked information across departments, drawing from federal guidance and best practices benchmarks, employee data and surveys, transit user questionnaires, public input, and other information collection and analysis. Some examples follow. â¢ âWhat we are starting to take a look at is an âemployee engagement meterâ . . . what we call a ânet promoter score,â increase in different areas of engagement . . . driven by . . . diversity and inclusion efforts. Weâve done a number of different surveys over the past few years and weâve asked questions to gauge the level of engagement an employee has; we know a lot of our diversity and inclusion work has helped to shape these.â [#I-22] â¢ âThis year we are looking at a number of employee engagement efforts, a lot of which will be centered around social sustainability. Weâve been tracking surveys from 2015â2018 to gauge how the employee attitudes and opinions shift. We are analyzing with the net promoter score format, . . . hoping to see that net promoter score increase by 5%.â [#I-22] â¢ âWe are measuring our employee pool . . . for race and gender diversity, and we even break it down to different areas of the agency. And we have a DBE goal, so right now we are trying to reestablish some different DBE goals, . . . tracking both subs and primes for DBEâs. They track any Title VI complaints of course. We do keep an eye on how many people that they are not approving for paratransit.â [#I-07] â¢ âIf we are conceiving of a service improvement or major corridor strategy or a budgetary item, our public involvement plan thatâs required by both our own policies as well as other guidelines requires to conduct extensive outreach both in terms of in-person outreach in the community as well as outreach to community-based organizations, who then act as force
Interviews with Transit Agencies 119Â Â multipliers for us to engage, especially with those challenging-to-reach populations; we metric our outreach based upon the composition of the respondents by demography and by race, and are constantly benchmarking that, not only against our system averages but also against the baseline demography of the region. We are trying to make sure at all points in time that our feedback is not only extensive but also representative of the communities that we serve.â [#I-16] â¢ âIt should also be noted that when we conduct our bus and rail censuses, which is unlike some other transit properties, which simply use census information or ACS [American Community Survey] information to best gauge the demography of both their ridership profile and baseline profile, we actually conduct in-person intercept surveys every 3Â years. . . . We gather anywhere between 60,000 and 70,000 individual intercept surveys, so we can best understand our widening community, and we engage in additional effort in communities that are traditionally hard to survey . . . limited English proficient, we have over 15 languages that are spoken here as primary home languages in the [specified] area, as well as those that are minority or low-income communities in vulnerable geographies.â [#I-16] â¢ âWe are constantly comparing ourselves to industry standards, from a best practices per- spective regarding . . . recruitment, reaching out to different communities to attract the best talent that we can possibly find, and focus on inclusiveness as well as process.â [#I-11] â¢ âWhenever we change any policies, and even something as simple as a fare increase, we conduct an in-depth analysis to ensure that certain communities are not adversely impacted.â [#I-11] Evaluate Outreach Efforts Some transit agency representatives discussed how they evaluate the effectiveness of community outreach, job fairs, and partnerships. â¢ âWe metric our outreach based upon the composition of the respondents by demography and by race and are constantly benchmarking against our system, but also against the base- line demography of the region.â [#I-16] â¢ âI constantly am asking my team, letâs think âoutside the box,â how can we be better at this, how can we better engage with people as the needs of the people we serve change?â [#I-20] â¢ âOne of the areas that is an area of emphasis for me is community-based outreach. [W]hat Iâve learned in my career here is that if we arenât constantly in contact with the community, then we start to lose that connection. We average an outreach meeting every 10Â days or 12Â days . . . that was just us participating in or hosting it ourselves. [W]e go out in the com- munity and we partner with other agencies to collaboratively work to develop job fairs to participate in job fairs. [W]e were the sponsor of a contractors expo . . . where we bring in contractors and other agencies. [W]e constantly are trying to partner with the other transit agency partners in the region and other agencies through the business outreach committee and other groups we work with to try to increase and include small businesses in our partici- pation.â [#I-20] â¢ âOne of the main things we measure in those meetings is what we call our âpass-through rate,â so when we go out and connect with someone in the community, do they take an affirmative step to try to work with us or to engage with us beyond the outreach meeting? And then from the contracting side, what is their success rate?â [#I-20] Identify Gaps Many transit agency representatives reported gaps in delivery of diversity and inclusion initiatives. Examples follow: â¢ â[A gap in] funding sometimes is an issue.â [#I-13] â¢ âAll agencies in the transit industry would have some gaps and, specifically, for us . . . there are certain jobs historically that have been dominated by men. A classic example would be
120 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry maintenance. So, the answer to the question, . . . [âAre] there more men that are doing mechanical work than woman?ââto the extent that thatâs a common theme in the industry, then yeah, I would have those issues. We obviously canât produce them if they donât exist . . . we set up a relationship with . . . trade schools so that we can try to the best of our ability and also the military to try to see if we can get women that can do those jobs. But . . . everyone is vying for the same thing . . . so those individuals get the valuable training here and then they wind up going someplace else.â [#I-02] â¢ âWe do enough inclusive activities; I donât think we do a good enough job yet in making our community, our service area communities, feel that their voice is heard, that we are listen- ing to them, I donât think that weâre creating enough opportunity for them to do that. Thatâs something that we are tackling this year. Weâre going out and probably doing more outreach across our service area.â [I-09] â¢ âI know from an HR standpoint the gap that we have is that . . . weâve gone too long without training. . . . [W]eâre going to start rolling out [training] annually, itâs just not something that weâve done on an annual basis previously.â [#I-17] Pursue and Share Internal and External Resources A number of transit agency representatives spoke of shared resources or looking to outside sources to augment diversity and inclusion initiatives. â¢ âWe read just about every publication and conduct our own research through all available means, through our association, APTA, and various other organizations.â [#I-11] â¢ âMy counterparts [at other transit agencies and certification agencies] . . . opportunity to reach out to them during the meetings and also just informally if I have questions and things like that; Iâll just share things informally by phone and so thatâs a resource as well . . . there are plenty of agencies that do or have similar programs, both on the private and public sector sides, so we use each other as resources, bounce things off of each other.â [#I-18] â¢ âWe talk frequently with folks at [specified transit agency] and over time weâve learned how they go about doing different things, different policies, engage the community . . . [we] point to them . . . thatâs helpful.â [#I-09] â¢ â[We] belong to a talent development [association], which is a workforce development group. . . . [We have] a networking connection with the chair of their diversity and inclusion council, so weâve âfound people.â I think that weâve done it informally, trying to find different groups that we can participate with and get information from.â [#I-04] â¢ âWe have various nonprofit organizations that we work with; we have woman organizations, we have ex-offender organizations, we have facilitators in our leadership academy that stress these issues, we have a quarterly leadership forum where we bring in all of the leaders in the organization to include people in our leadership academy . . . we bring in guest speakers around the topic of diversity and inclusion and all those things, and so weâre constantly reinforcing the message of inclusion, and I think that you have to do that constantly because people will lose track of the importance of the issue.â [#I-10] â¢ âI think participating in APTA . . . and trying to be leaders on subgroups of diversity and inclusion council [in] APTA. I think being active in our community.â [#I-03] â¢ âThe community colleges and 4-year colleges. We have a good relationship with [specified] university. We have . . . [a] partnership; theyâre like a link to the [local] chamber of commerce. We also link to the [regional] diversity center. We have a link to the transportation learning center, which helps us with national outreach for developing training curriculums as it relates to transit training. Thereâs a really good healthy base as it stands now.â [#I-22]
Interviews with Transit Agencies 121Â Â Remove Barriers that Inhibit Success Some transit agency representatives reported that diversity and inclusion initiatives can lose traction or be conflicting, or that some diversity and inclusion programs often have the reverse effect. Others identified common institutional barriers that inhibit success. Examples follow: â¢ âWeâre constantly reinforcing the message of inclusion, and I think that you have to do that constantly because people will lose track of the importance of the issue.â [#I-10] â¢ âWe are . . . at the beginning stages. I would love to see succession planning that follows people in all different roles. This is where it starts to become a gray area. . . . I find it truly challenging to have a great program . . . as weâre saying, âOkay weâre going to look at the Latino community or weâre going to look at the Asian community or weâre going to focus on the women.â I really want it to be about the people and whatever it is that theyâre bringing to the table and how to grow the individuals.â [#I-01] â¢ âNow I also have a responsibility as the EEO officer to ensure that I am truly being diverse, and so I find that to be challenging. . . . it sometimes feels conflicting.â [#I-01] â¢ âThere are competing needs in the organization, . . . and what I donât want is for the equity and the diversity needs to be lost in the ânoiseâ of everything a large organization has going on.â [#I-20] â¢ âOne of the concerns you often hear in terms of equity and inclusion is, there maybe are unintended results of facially neutral policies. [S]o an artificial glass ceiling for example . . . is there one in your organization, and, if so, how do you get at that? And how you get at that . . . is by collecting your data and then running statistical significance testing to see if any issues you identify or any challenges you identify are anecdotal and/or due to chance or if there is some significance to it, so that we can respond to them proactively, which is a new process for our organization that weâve initiated in the last few months. Pay equity, diversity around hiring, etc.â [#I-20] â¢ âWhat a lot of people donât realize is that there are a lot of institutional barriers in place, and so being aware of what those are. . . . [So] thinking about hiring people . . . and if you have a minimum qualification that requires an associateâs degree or a bachelorâs degree, actually looking at that body of work and deciding, is that appropriate, or is that just something that weâve had in place forever.â [#I-04] â¢ âAnd then for some of the testing, not all groups do testing well, and so trying to make sure that youâre looking at those barriers and saying, âAre those still filling a need, is there something else we can do?â I think thatâs where a lot of organizations should be looking, because we recognize different celebrations throughout the year and that brings a lot of inclusion and people âfeel good,â but you need to do more than that. You have to do the hard stuff, which is figuring out what kinds of institutional things you have in place that are preventing people from getting promoted, preventing people from getting hired.â [#I-04]
122 Approach to Case Studies Utilizing information collected via in-depth interviews with transit agency leaders, human resources (HR) professionals, and others; agency procurement data; and background research, the research team prepared summary case studies of the 12 transit agencies involved in this proj- ect. These case studies examine issues related to employment, HR, and procurement processes. To expand the scope of the analysis, the study team included examinations of unique and/or progressive diversity, equity, and inclusion practices used by transit agencies outside of the interview sample, such as Oregon Metro in Portland, TheBus in Honolulu, and People Mover in Anchorage. This appendix has three sections: â¢ The first provides an overview of the hiring and workforce diversity and inclusion initiatives used by the transit agencies interviewed in this research; â¢ The second outlines their procurement practices with a focus on federal disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) programs and contracts; and â¢ The last section details additional community-based aspects of equity and inclusion consid- ered by some transit agencies, such as environmental justice, fare pricing and transportation planning. Employment and Other Human Resources Issues Employee Diversity and Inclusion Efforts The research team analyzed diversity and inclusion HR initiatives used by case study transit agencies as a means of going above and beyond Federal Transit Administration (FTA) diversity standards [e.g., baseline Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) protections]. Research data found that case study transit agencies used six efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in recruitment practices, and seven practices to encourage diversity and inclusion in their current workforce and workplace culture. The diversity and inclusion recruitment practices utilized by case study agencies are as follows: â¢ Use of workforce analysis to determine underutilized groups, â¢ Diverse interview panels that include people of color, â¢ Targeted recruitment of minority groups, â¢ Job placement opportunities for individuals with disabilities, â¢ Performance evaluations that incorporate EEO policy goals, and â¢ Monitoring of candidate interview and selection processes by agency leadership. Case Studies of Transit Agency Efforts A P P E N D I X D
Case Studies of Transit Agency Efforts 123Â Â Common workforce practices to encourage diversity and inclusion found by the research team are as follows: â¢ Employee training on civil rights and EEO, â¢ Formation and availability of diversity employee resource groups, â¢ Employee diversity awareness workshops and training, â¢ Formation and use of diversity and inclusion committees, â¢ Creation or designation of facilities (e.g., restrooms) for all gender identities (including gender-neutral facilities), â¢ Celebrations of diverse cultures, and â¢ Recognition of diverse holidays (e.g., Kwanzaa, Diwali, and the Jewish High Holy Days) and ability for employees to use discretionary holidays. Data show that most transit agencies participate in the abovementioned efforts to encourage diversity and inclusion, with many implementing (or developing) more efforts and initiatives than those named. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the forefront of the minds of transit agency leadership. Two tables are provided to highlight the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts made by each transit agency included in this research. TableÂ D-1 summarizes recruitment efforts, and TableÂ D-2 summarizes workforce diversity and inclusion efforts utilized by the case study agencies. Note that some initiatives were in development at the time of this research and may since have been fully implemented. Additional Hiring, Recruitment, and Workforce Efforts Organizations use many methods to stimulate diversity and inclusion in addition to those noted in TablesÂ D-1 and D-2. This section highlights several of these efforts utilized by public transportation agencies. Pipeline Development Pipeline development (e.g., internships, apprenticeships, and outreach training programs) for underrepresented groups is one of the most common equity and inclusion efforts among transit agencies, and this approach has been recommended previously by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) (Cronin and Goldstein 2019). Several agencies in the case studies have cultivated transit talent pipelines. The following section details some of these pipeline diversity initiatives. Bay Area Rapid TransitâTransit Career Ladders Training Program. Using FTA grant money, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) created the Transit Career Ladders Training program. This program promote[s] transportation careers in low-income unemployed and underemployed communities, and among minorities, veterans and women through participant enrollment in college programs to help fill future positions as Electricians, Transit Vehicle Electronic Technicians and Transit Communication Electronic Technicians (BART 2020). Recently, 100 individuals (internal BART employees and external applicants) were trained in transit maintenance through this program (Cooper 2019). Greater Cleveland Regional Transit AuthorityâCareer Pathways Program. In 2015, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) partnered with nonprofit El Barrio Workforce Development, Cleveland State University, and Cuyahoga Community College to create the Career Pathways Program (CPP). The program was funded by FTA with a goal to
Recruitment Accountability Agency Prerecruitment: Conducts Workforce Utilization Analysis Diverse Interview Panels Targeted Recruitment of Minorities Job Placement for Individuals with Disabilities Performance Evaluations Include EEO Policy Goals Monitoring of Interview/Selection Process AlamedaâContra Costa Transit District Yes Yes Yes Yes Bay Area Rapid Transit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Houston Metro Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Transit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Pierce Transit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Port Authority of Allegheny County Yes Yes Yes Trinity Metro Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Valley Metro Transit System Yes Yes Yes Yes Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Yes Yes Yes Yes Note: HR leadership at each transit agency was given a review period of 10 business days to confirm the accuracy of this table. Empty cells do not necessarily denote a lack of efforts to produce the particular diversity initiative, but instead a lack of a formal program detailed in in-depth interviews, background research, and/or confirmation by HR leadership. Table D-1. Transit agency employee diversity and inclusion recruitment efforts.
Retention of Diverse Talent Cultural Norming Agency Training: Civil Rights and EEO Training Diversity Employee Resource Group Diversity Awareness Workshops/ Training Diversity and Inclusion Committee Facilities for All Gender Identities Diverse Cultural Celebrations Recognition of Diverse/ Discretionary Holidays AlamedaâContra Costa Transit District Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Bay Area Rapid Transit Yes Yes Yes In development Yes Yes Yes Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority Yes Yes Yes Houston Metro Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Transit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Pierce Transit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Port Authority of Allegheny County Yes In development Yes In development Yes Yes Trinity Metro Yes Yes Valley Metro Transit System Yes Yes Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Yes Yes Yes Yes Note: HR leadership at each transit agency were provided a review period of 10 business days to confirm the accuracy of this table. Empty cells do not necessarily denote a lack of efforts to produce the particular diversity initiative, but instead a lack of a formal program detailed in in-depth interviews, background research, and/or confirmation by HR leadership. Source: Research team analyses of agency policies, procedures, and practices via in-depth interviews and background research. Table D-2. Transit agency diversity and inclusion efforts for current employees.
126 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry ârecruit and train women, minorities, and veterans to join the GCRTA workforce, especially in low-income communities. Training include[d] accelerated, high-demand electrical and mechanical programs offered at Cuyahoga Community Collegeâ as well as introductions to transit career opportunities at Cleveland State University (Brown 2015). The goal of CPP was for these opportunities to result in formal internships and on-the-job training with GCRTA and eventual careers with the transit agency. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation AuthorityâWomen Build Metro Los Angeles Program. Initiated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) Project Labor Agreement and Construction Careers Policy mandate, the Women Build Metro Los Angeles (WBMLA) program encourages women to join the construction and transpor tation industries (LACMTA 2017). The program includes events, readiness fairs, tours, and workshops to pave the way for women in construction and transportation as well as to provide resources and professional networks to overcome industry barriers. Metropolitan Transportation AuthorityâTechnical Education Outreach Programs. New York City Transitâs Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has created outreach program partnerships with several career and technical education (CTE) high schools and colleges, such as the Transit Tech CTE High School in Brooklyn. These programs expose young people to transit careers and train them for the industry. Valley Metro Transit SystemâPipeline Initiatives. Valley Metro has partnered with local organizations and educational institutions to develop student internships that target diverse and underrepresented groups to prepare students for a future in transit. Internship areas run the gamut from planning to communications to maintenance and operations. Additional Workforce Efforts This section outlines additional workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives outside of pipeline development. Targeted Recruitment Using Non-English-Language Announcements. Targeted recruit- ment of underrepresented people is a common strategy used by public transportation agencies, as shown in TableÂ D-1. However, some organizations have advanced this recruitment tool by translating employment announcements into different languages. For example, in 2018, Oregon Metro began using âculturally specific languages, channels and organizations,â such as indigenous âtribal newspapers and Russian radio stations,â to announce opportunities (Oregon Metro 2016, p.Â 36). This strategy was one of seven used to transform the demographic makeup of the transit agency into one that is more representative of the local region. Another example can be found in the MinneapolisâSaint Paul region of Minnesota, where Metro Transit has practiced a similar approach to its diverse communities since 2017. Job announcements are translated into Somali, Spanish, Oromo, and Hmong and shared in minority community centers, neighborhood gather- ings, and through ethnic media (Hirsi 2017). Improving Workforce Perceptions. Employee perceptions greatly influence actions, beliefs, and feelings toward workplace initiatives, including those centered on diversity and inclusion. Therefore, agencies must address employee perceptions to advance equity. Specifi- cally, an organization must help its workforce see that diversity and inclusion are important to the organization and that leadership is striving for improvement on these fronts. These attempts must be purposeful and organized to be effective. As researchers Godfrey and Bertini (2020) explain, âif an organization is not deliberately shaping their own perception, they are allowing others to define their own perceptions.â
Case Studies of Transit Agency Efforts 127Â Â This appendix has noted some ways agencies nurture perceptions (e.g., the use of diverse hiring panels, encouragement of employee resource groups, and celebrations of diverse holidays); however, there are more. For example, in 2016, Oregon Metro developed a racial equity, diversity, and inclusion plan. During this process, Oregon Metro found that despite transit agency efforts, âequity is not yet perceived by all employees to be a top priorityâ at the transit agency (Oregon Metro 2016, p.Â 34). Consequently, the organization developed a three-part strategy that focused on public displays of incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion in executive meetings and policies to show top-down investment and planning. Procurement Federal DBE Program Transit agencies operate the federal DBE Program as a condition of receiving U.S. Depart- ment of Transportation (DOT) funds. They have been operating some version of a federal DBE Program since the 1980s. After enactment of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) in 1998, the U.S. DOT established a new federal DBE Program to be operated by state and local agencies receiving U.S. DOT funds. The U.S. DOT revised the federal DBE Program in 2011 and again in 2014. Federal regulations in 49 CFR PartÂ 26 direct how state and local governments must operate the federal DBE Program. If necessary, under the federal regulations, the program allows agencies to use DBE contract goals, which some transit agencies set on certain FTA-funded contracts. When awarding those contracts, transit agencies consider whether a bidder or pro- poser meets the DBE goal set for the contract or shows good faith efforts to do so. Key Program Elements The federal DBE Program includes the following components: â¢ Setting an overall goal for DBE participation; â¢ Establishing the portion of the overall DBE goal to be met through neutral means; â¢ Determining whether all racial, ethnic, and gender groups will be eligible for race- or gender- conscious elements of the federal DBE Program; â¢ Promoting DBE participation as prime contractors; â¢ Promoting DBE participation as subcontractors; â¢ Prompt payment; â¢ Contract compliance; â¢ MentorâprotÃ©gÃ© programs and other assistance; â¢ DBE certification; and â¢ Transit vehicle manufacturer program. These components are discussed below. Setting an Overall Goal for DBE Participation. Transit agencies must develop separate overall 3-year goals for DBE participation in their FTA-funded contracts. The federal DBE Program sets forth the steps a transit agency must follow in establishing its goals, including development of a âbase figureâ and consideration of possible âStep 2â adjustments to a goal (49 CFR Section 26.45). A transit agencyâs overall goals for DBE participation are aspirational. Failure to meet an annual DBE goal does not automatically cause any U.S. DOT penalties unless an agency fails to administer the DBE Program in good faith. However, if an agency does not meet its overall DBE goal, federal regulations require it to analyze the reasons for any shortfall and develop a
128 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry corrective action plan to meet the goal in the next fiscal year (49 CFR Section 26.47). Each of the case study transit agencies sets an overall goal except Valley Metro, which is a subrecipient of City of Phoenix FTA funds. There was a large range of overall goals for DBE participation among the case study transit agencies, from 3% for Pierce Transit to 27% for LACMTA. TableÂ D-3 examines DBE goals by agency. Most of the case study transit agencies used DBE directory information and U.S. Census Bureau data to set overall DBE goals. Nearly all of those agencies adjusted the base figure on the basis of past DBE participation. AC Transit and Trinity Metro did not take a Step 2 adjustment. Agency Current DBE Goal (%) Data Source Used to Establish Goal AlamedaâContra Costa Transit District 10.0 DBE directories and U.S. Census Bureau data used to establish base figure. No Step 2 adjustment was taken. Bay Area Rapid Transit 16.0 Disparity study in 2017. Base figure was determined by using weighted DBE availability of the agencyâs bidders list, including informal and noncompetitive awardees. Adjustment was made by averaging the base figure with past median DBE participation (FY 2017 to FY 2019). Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority 22.5 Disparity study completed in the GCRTA marketplace. Adjusted to account for GCRTAâs projected mix of contracts. Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority 8.0 DBE directories and U.S. Census Bureau data used to establish base figure. Adjusted using median past DBE participation (FY 2015 to FY 2019). Houston Metro 19.0 DBE directories and U.S. Census Bureau data used to establish base figure. Adjusted using median past DBE participation (FY 2014 to FY 2018). Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority 27.0 Disparity study in 2017. Base figure determined by using a custom census. No Step 2 adjustment was taken. Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Transit 18.0 DBE directories and U.S. Census Bureau data used to establish base figure. No Step 2 adjustment was taken. Pierce Transit 3.0 DBE directories and U.S. Census Bureau data used to establish base figure. Adjustment made by using past DBE participation. Port Authority of Allegheny County 15.8 DBE directories and U.S. Census Bureau data used to establish base figure. Adjustment made by using median past DBE participation (FY 2013 to FY 2016). Trinity Metro 13.0 DBE directories and U.S. Census Bureau data used to establish base figure. No Step 2 adjustment was taken. Valley Metro Transit System 6.0 As a subrecipient of the City of Phoenix, Valley Metro Transit System does not set an agency-specific DBE goal, but rather follows the cityâs goal. The City of Phoenix established its DBE goal with DBE directories and information from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors and the Arizona Board of Technical Registration, businesses that had bid on similar contracts during the last goal period, and firms that were found by using various Internet sources. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority 25.0 DBE directories and U.S. Census Bureau data used to establish base figure. Adjusted by averaging the base figure with median past DBE participation (FY 2015 to FY 2018). Table D-3. Current transit agency DBE goals and data sources.
Case Studies of Transit Agency Efforts 129Â Â Valley Metro, as a subrecipient of the City of Phoenix, has not set a separate DBE goal, but rather followed the Cityâs methodology (see TableÂ D-3). The overall goals for the remaining transit agencies (LACMTA, GCRTA and BART) were based on data from disparity studies that examined DBE availability in the agenciesâ respective local marketplaces. More information is provided in Table D-3. Establishing the Portion of the Overall DBE Goal to Be Met Through Neutral Means. Regulations governing operation of the federal DBE Program allow for transit agencies to operate the program without the use or with limited use of race- or gender-based measures such as DBE contract goals. According to program regulations (49 CFR Section 26.51), a state or local transit agency must meet the maximum feasible portion of its overall goal for DBE participation through ârace-neutral means.â Race-neutral program measures include removing barriers to participation of firms in general or promoting use of small or emerging businesses. Setting goals for small business participation on contracts is another potential neutral measure [see 49 CFR Section 26.51(b) for more examples of race-neutral program measures]. If a transit agency can meet its goal solely through race-neutral means, it must not use race- conscious program elements. For example, a transit agency operating a 100% race- and gender- neutral program would not apply DBE contract goals. When a transit agency sets an overall DBE goal, the federal DBE Program also requires that it project the portion of that goal it will meet through neutral measures and the portion, if any, to be met through race-conscious measures such as DBE contract goals. The U.S. DOT has outlined a number of factors for a transit agency to consider when making that determination. Four transit agenciesâAC Transit, Houston Metro, Pierce Transit, and the City of Phoenix (of which Valley Metro is a subrecipient of FTA funds)âproposed to meet their overall DBE goals solely through neutral efforts. Among the remaining case study transit agencies, projections of neutral participation varied from 1% to 14% of their overall DBE goals. TableÂ D-4 presents race-neutral and -conscious projections for each case study transit agency. As described above, many of the case study transit agencies use a combination of neutral and race- and gender-conscious means to meet their overall DBE goals for FTA-funded contracts. They typically set DBE contract goals on many (but not all) of their FTA-funded contracts. Determining Whether All Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Groups Will Be Eligible for Race- or Gender-Conscious Elements of the Federal DBE Program. Under the federal DBE Program, the following racial, ethnic, and gender groups can be presumed to be socially disadvantaged: â¢ Black Americans (or âAfrican Americansâ in this research); â¢ Asian Pacific Americans; â¢ Subcontinent Asian Americans; â¢ Hispanic Americans; â¢ Native Americans; and â¢ Women of any race or ethnicity. To be economically disadvantaged, a company must be below an overall revenue limit and an industry-specific limit, and its firm owner(s) must be below net worth limits. White male- owned firms and other ethnicities not listed above can also meet the federal certification requirements and be certified as DBEs if they demonstrate that they are both socially and economically disadvantaged, as described in 49 CFR SectionÂ 26.67(d). The certification require- ments of 49 CFR Section 26(d) state the following: â¢ There is a gross receipts limit of not more than $26,290,000 annual 3-year average revenue and lower limits for certain lines of business (at the time of this report); and
130 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry Current DBE Projection (%) Agency Race Neutral Race Conscious How Neutral Goal Was Calculated AlamedaâContra Costa Transit District 10.0 0.0 AC Transit has historically implemented an RN program and uses a neutral SBE program to achieve participation. Bay Area Rapid Transit 6.0 10.0 Disparity study (2017): adjusted base figure/median DBE participation (FY 2017â2019) = "RN adjustment." RN adjustment x past neutral participation = RN goal. The disparity study also considered other information, including in-depth interviews with directors and program managers of organizations that provide services to small businesses and minority- and woman-owned businesses. Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority 3.6 18.9 Average of past DBE RN participation for previous 3 fiscal years. Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority 4.8 3.2 Median past RN DBE participation for previous 5 fiscal years. Houston Metro 19.0 0.0 Houston Metro projected that it would achieve its goal through solely neutral measures such as small business goals. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority 13.8 13.2 Overall RN DBE participation, FY 2011 to FY 2015 (calculated in 2017 disparity study). Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Transit 3.6 14.4 1. Calculated RN percentage of DBE participation for the previous 4 fiscal years. 2. The above figure was then multiplied by the overall DBE goal. Pierce Transit 3.0 0.0 Due to substantial changes in the federal funding allocation for Pierce Transit contracts, the agency proposed to use a solely RN program for the goal period in order to "analyze the effects of these [funding] changes using a race-neutral Program." Port Authority of Allegheny County 1.0 14.8 Median past RN DBE participation for previous 4 fiscal years. Trinity Metro 2.0 11.0 1. Calculated RN percentage of DBE participation in FY 2017. 2. The above figure was then multiplied by the overall DBE goal. Valley Metro Transit System 6.0 0.0 The City of Phoenix, of which Valley Metro is a subrecipient, achieves its triennial goal entirely through race- and gender-neutral measures. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority 14.0 11.0 Calculated in 2017 disparity study: 1. RN participation/overall DBE participation (calculation made for the previous 4 fiscal years: FY 2015 to FY 2018) ("relative RN attainment"). 2. Median of the above figures: (55.83%) Ã DBE goal (25%) = 14% (âabsolute RN attainmentâ) Note: RN = race neutral. Table D-4. Breakout of race-neutral and -conscious projections.
Case Studies of Transit Agency Efforts 131Â Â â¢ A personal net worth limit of $1.32Â million at the time of this report (excluding equity in the business and primary personal residence) that firms and firm owners must fall below to be able to be certified as a DBE. Under 49 CFR Section 26.67(b), a certifying transit agency may consider other factors to determine if an individual is able to accumulate substantial wealth, in which case certification is denied. Annual gross income of the owner and whether the fair market value of the ownerâs assets exceeds $6Â million are two such factors that may be considered. The U.S. DOT provides a waiver provision if a transit agency determines that it does not need to include certain racial, ethnic, or gender groups in the race- or gender-conscious portions of the federal DBE Program. Each of the case study agencies that use DBE contract goals include all of the above racial, ethnic, and gender groups as eligible for those programs. None have waivers approved from U.S. DOT that limit participation in DBE contract goals programs to a subset of those groups. One transit agency, LACMTA, requested a waiver from FTA for Subcontinent Asian American- owned DBEs on the basis of results of that transit agencyâs 2017 disparity study. As of this writing, FTA had not responded to this waiver request. Transit agencies located in states within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit face additional requirements when operating the federal DBE Program. Transit agencies within the Ninth Circuit adjusted their implementation of the federal DBE Program to comply with the 2005 Ninth Circuit decision in the Western States Paving case and in accor- dance with the Official U.S. DOT Guidance issued after the decision. Five of the case study agencies are located within the Ninth Circuit: AlamedaâContra Costa Transit District (AC Transit), BART, LACMTA, Pierce Transit, and Valley Metro Transit System. Two of these case study agenciesâBART and LACMTAâhave completed disparity studies since the 2005 Ninth Circuit decision in Western States Paving. They are the two case study agencies within the Ninth Circuit that operated race- and gender-conscious programs as of the time of this report. Promoting DBE Participation as Prime Contractors. The federal DBE Program calls for agencies to remove any barriers to DBE participation as prime contractors and consultants but does not require agencies to operate programs that give preference to DBE primes. Quotas are prohibited. The federal DBE Program requires transit agencies develop programs to assist all small busi- nesses. For example, small business preference programs, including reserving contracts on which only small businesses can bid, are allowable under the federal DBE Program (49 CFR Section 26.39). Several of the case study transit agencies use these small business set-aside programs, and some also unbundle contracts to make them more accessible to small businesses. Promoting DBE Participation as Subcontractors. In accordance with federal regulations and subject to U.S. DOT approval, a transit agency can decide that it will use DBE contract goals as part of its operation of the federal DBE Program. At least seven of the case study transit agencies use DBE contract goals for certain FTA-funded contracts. Table D-5 presents this information. Prompt Payment. Each case study transit agency explicitly states its prompt payment requirements in its DBE program plan or other contracting policies. Most agencies require primes to pay their subcontractors within 7 to 10Â days following receipt of payment from the transit agency. One transit agency defines prompt payment as within 14Â days of the primeâs
132 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry receipt of payment, and two transit agencies require their primes to pay subcontractors within 30Â days of receiving payment from the transit agency. Contract Compliance. All of the case study transit agencies implement contract compli- ance oversight in their operation of the federal DBE Program. Larger transit agencies assign a specific contract administrator to each contract, while others employ a single compliance spe- cialist to ensure compliance with FTA contract practices. Some transit agencies use a software platform (e.g., B2Gnow) to assist with compliance monitoring. MentorâProtÃ©gÃ© Programs and Other Assistance. All of the case study transit agencies provide assistance to DBEs and other small businesses. Five case study transit agencies manage or participate in a mentorâprotÃ©gÃ© program: BART, Houston Metro, LACMTA, the New York City Transit MTA, and Pierce Transit. Other transit agenciesâ efforts include organizing work- shops and seminars, attending community business events, and providing one-on-one technical assistance to businesses. DBE Certification. To participate in the federal DBE Program, a firm must be certified as a DBE by a state or local agency within the state in which it wishes to participate. If a firm does business in multiple states, it must first be certified in its home state and then request approval for certification in other states. Each certifying agency in a state cooperates with other certifying agencies in that stateâs unified certification program. A transit agency can be one of the certifying agencies for DBEs within a state but is not required to be. Some transit agencies rely on other organizations within their states to certify DBEs. Among the case study transit agencies, seven perform DBE certification. TableÂ D-6 presents these results. Transit Vehicle Manufacturer Program. FTA also requires transit vehicle manufacturers to meet DBE goals on a national basis. Individual transit agencies do not implement this program. Therefore, they do not include requirements for transit vehicle manufacturers when operating the federal DBE Program for their agency. DBE Participation Transit agencies are required to report DBE participation on their FTA-funded contracts. TableÂ D-7 examines recent participation for the case study agencies. Agency Use DBE Contract Goals AlamedaâContra Costa Transit District No Bay Area Rapid Transit Yes Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Yes Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority Yes Houston Metro No Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Yes Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Transit Yes Pierce Transit No Port Authority of Allegheny County Yes Trinity Metro Yes Valley Metro Transit System Yes Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Yes Table D-5. Case study transit agency use of DBE contract goals.
Case Studies of Transit Agency Efforts 133Â Â Equity in Contracting Programs for Non-federally-Funded Contracts Some transit agencies have enacted their own contracting equity programs for non-federally- funded contracts. Those programs can be challenged in court. TableÂ D-8 summarizes the current activities of case study agencies and the types of firms included in those programs. Five case study transit agencies implement practices designed to assist micro, small, and medium-sized businesses; and three case study transit agencies have programs for minority-owned, women- owned, and other disadvantaged businesses. MTA New York City Transit and Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAAC) both implement contracting equity programs developed by larger state-level organizations (New York State and the Pennsylvania DOT, respectively). Agency Certifying Agency AlamedaâContra Costa Transit District No Bay Area Rapid Transit Yes Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Yes Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority No Houston Metro Yes Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Yes Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Transit Yes Pierce Transit No Port Authority of Allegheny County Yes Trinity Metro No Valley Metro Transit System Yes Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority No Table D-6. Case study transit agency DBE certifying agency status. Agency DBE Participation (%) FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 AlamedaâContra Costa Transit District 7.3 28.0 23.1 Bay Area Rapid Transit 23.7 30.3 30.2 Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority 15.8 21.6 25.1 Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority 15.0 3.0 28.7 Houston Metro 54.7 55.0 64.0 Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority 9.5 23.5 24.6 Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Transit 16.0 16.0 26.0 Pierce Transit 4.4 2.1 1.5 Port Authority of Allegheny County 21.4 15.1 9.9 Trinity Metro 29.7 19.7 8.4 Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority 21.9 21.2 25.8 Note: Participation figures for Valley Metro were not identified. Table D-7. DBE participation figures: FY 2017 to FY 2019.
134 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry Some transit agencies operate programs to address disadvantages for businesses owned by persons with disabilities; members of the LGBTQ community; veterans; and other groups. Among the case study transit agencies, six operate programs extending beyond businesses owned by people of color or women (or small businesses in general). TableÂ D-8 examines these programs. Three case study transit agencies implement programs that benefit local small busi- nesses. Five case study transit agencies have programs designed to encourage participation by veteran-owned, disabled veteranâowned or service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. One case study agency, Bay Area Rapid Transit, has established a program that includes contracting preferences for LGBTQ-owned businesses. Program Activity/Purpose AlamedaâContra Costa Transit District Small Business Enterprise (SBE) and Small Local Business Enterprise (SLBE) policy SBE goals; price preference and set-asides on select contracts. SLBE subcontracting goals; 10% price preference on select small contracts. Microbusiness Enterprise (MBE) set-asides on select small contracts. Small Disabled Veteran Enterprise (SDVE); 6% price preference on certain small contracts. Bay Area Rapid Transit Small Business (SB) Program SB price preference; subcontracting goals for certain contracts. Local small business (LSB); disabled veteran (DVBE); and/or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) enterprise; 5% to 7% price preference on certain contracts. Nondiscrimination Program Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE): If BART identifies discrimination against these ownership groups in subcontracting, the bidder can be deemed nonresponsive. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Disabled Veterans Business Enterprise (DVBE) Program DVBE 3% overall subcontracting goal. Medium-Size Business Enterprise (MSZ) Program Sets aside certain contracting opportunities for MSZs only. Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program SBE set-asides; subcontracting goals; overall small business goal of 30%. Small business initiative Proposers are only eligible for award if they demonstrate the SBE goal (eliminates good faith efforts provision). Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Transit Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) (New York State program) M/WBE overall annual goal of 30%; subcontracting goals on select contracts. Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB) Program SDVOB overall annual goal of 6%; subcontracting goals on select contracts. Port Authority of Allegheny County Diverse Business Program (Pennsylvania DOT program) Bidders and proposers must make good faith efforts to include disadvantaged businesses as well as minority-, women-, service- disabled veteran-, and veteran-owned small businesses. Valley Metro Transit System Small Business Enterprise (SBE) âBuy Localâ Program Restricts certain small contracts to certified local SBEs. Table D-8. Summary of contracting equity programs for non-federally-funded contracts.
Case Studies of Transit Agency Efforts 135Â Â Research Concerning Diversity and Inclusion in Other Aspects of Transit Operations Transit agencies seek to improve diversity and inclusion through aspects other than recruit- ment, workforce, and procurement initiatives. This section highlights additional efforts made in the following areas: â¢ Environmental justice, â¢ Transportation planning equity, â¢ Fare pricing, â¢ Language inclusion, and â¢ Transit policing. The research team asserts that, to understand the complexities of these approaches, diversity, equity, and inclusion in transportation must be conceptualized along two dimensions: horizontal equity and vertical equity. â¢ Horizontal equity refers to distribution of impacts (i.e., costs and benefits) across groups that are considered equal in ability and need. This type of equity may include spatial and generational equity. â¢ Vertical equity refers to the distribution of transportation impacts on groups that differ in ability and needs, such as persons with disabilities or special needs groups and groups across different social and income classes (Bills and Walker 2017). Vertical equity requires that different groups receive different amounts of a benefit. Horizontal equity requires that within each group of similar individuals, a similar benefit is received. The two types of equity together imply that transit-dependent groups should have access to equal amounts of quality transit, and those most dependent on transit should receive more access to transit service (Welch 2013). Environmental Justice Environmental justice is the attempt to achieve equitable protection from environmental harm and access to benefits across demographic groups. Researchers have found that com- munities of color and low-income neighborhoods tend to be exposed to greater environmental harm and receive fewer benefits from transportation systems in comparison with the general population. This is in part due to the close proximity of low-income and minority neighbor- hoods with transit networks. In addition, gentrification prompted by transit system development can also lead to the displacement of minorities and low-income individuals and further inequity (Banzhaf etÂ al. 2019; Rodier etÂ al. 2015). Environmental justice advocates and transit agencies must weigh the costs of public transpor- tation in certain neighborhoods (e.g., air and noise pollution) with its benefits (e.g., increased accessibility and employment opportunities). The method used most often by local governments and metropolitan planning organizations to make this calculation is to require environmental assessments. Environmental assessments use national data sources such as the American Com- munity Survey to measure and compare variables such as overall cost, population need, and baseline environmental standards (Karner etÂ al. 2020). Researchers have noted that these assessments rarely incorporate input from community members who must live and work near planned transit facilities or opinions from local environ- mental activists. These parties may be asked for feedback; however, the insight they provide is not typically given enough weight to influence outcomes (Velasco 2020). This is due, in part, to a history of transportation agencies and planners not taking the âcritical steps to actualize
136 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry justiceâ (Velasco 2020). There is evidence that agencies in the past have inhibited progressive environmental actions sought by community leaders (Velasco 2020). With routine disregard embedded in the operations of transit agencies, researchers have found that transportation projects continue to result in disproportionate impacts on minority and low-income communi- ties (Rowangould etÂ al. 2016). Transit agencies in this research have made pointed efforts to address existing and new environmental inequity. Most common are technological improvements to minimize envi- ronmental impact. For example, one goal of Pierce Transitâs 2020â2025 Transit Development Plan is an upgrade of its bus fleet fuel economy by using natural gas, electric, and hybrid con- version technologies. Other case study agencies have made similar improvements to their buses (or are in the process of doing so) to minimize air and noise pollution, as these enhancements also result in long-term cost saving. Transit agencies have âgone greenâ in other facets of their operations. Houston Metro, for example, has taken the following steps to improve the environment of its local communities: â¢ Improvement of bus propulsion systems to speed up acceleration, thereby reducing traffic congestion during stop-and-go service; â¢ Conservation of water used to clean buses; â¢ Recycling of all metal, tires, batteries, wood, and oil used in operations; â¢ Automatic shutoff of buses that sit idling; and â¢ Community van pool programs to encourage fewer cars on the road. WMATA has also implemented similar measures and formalized environmental equity in policy with initiatives such as a plan for zero-emission buses and the agencyâs 2025 Energy Action Plan (WMATA 2020). Since 2014, WMATA also has evaluated environmental progress and maintained accountability through annual public sustainability reports. While researchers and activists have highlighted issues in how transit agencies approach environmental equity, they do not negate the reality that agencies are making noticeable efforts to decrease pollution and the negative environmental impacts on surrounding communities. Transportation Planning Equity Transportation planning is a crucial dimension of transit equity. The research team under- stands the term âtransportation planning,â as referring to the routes, services, frequency, and stations managed by a transit agency as well as the effects of each aforementioned element on local housing and businesses (see Rodier etÂ al. 2015). In-depth interview information shows that transit agency leadership is aware of the impacts its transit design and services have on local people, their housing, and their businesses. This section outlines some of the impacts of transit planning on communities as well as efforts to minimize social inequities caused by transit planning. Transit Network Design The design of transit networksâparticularly the perceptions and intentions behind designsâplays a key role in transportation equity. Analysis of transit systems across the world finds that there are 69 different approaches to network design, setting frequencies, and time- tabling (Guihaire and Hao 2008). Each produces a different equity outcome. Tellingly, social equity was not a prominent factor of any of the 69 analyzed approaches. Instead, economic and temporal concerns (e.g., cost of route or speed of travel) were at the forefront. Foregoing considerations of social equity may simplify design processes, but doing so can lead to amplifying existing social inequalities or creating new ones.
Case Studies of Transit Agency Efforts 137Â Â More damaging is unaddressed implicit and explicit bias in network design. Public transit systems are steeped in a history of racial bias. In the years following World War II, transit leaders across the nation began to view ridership in racialized ways and develop networks accord- ingly (Spieler 2020). For example, riders were categorized as âsuburbanâ (i.e., white) or âurbanâ (i.e., African American); they were âchoiceâ riders (i.e., white) or âdependentâ riders (i.e., people of color). With these racialized perceptions came discriminatory practices that still influence transit systems today. For example, current multimodal transit systems tend to have fast, well- funded and well-maintained light rail systems for low-frequency suburban (i.e., white) riders and slow bus routes with deteriorating shelters for high-frequency urban riders (i.e., people of color) (Spieler 2020). Urban riders are often priced out of using light rail systems as well. Exacerbating transit network design biases is discrimination within the built environment. Schindler (2015) explains that the built environmentâcharacterized by the man-made physical features like buildings, bridges, and highwaysâcan purposefully make it difficult for certain individuals to access certain places. As a result, the built environment can be used as a mechanism of exclusion, and public transportation can reinforce that exclusion. With history in mind, some case study agencies have made efforts to address equity by evaluating and revising network design and operations. For example, in 2019, PAACâs plan- ning department produced a study titled âEquity Index of Mobility Need.â This study identified areas with high mobility needs (i.e., locations with large populations of low-income individuals, limited English speakers, seniors) and compared the routes and stops available to meet the travel needs of these groups. The planning department identified two neighborhoods within the City of Pittsburgh and nearby boroughs and townships that lacked the public transportation necessary to support groups with high mobility needs. These findings will affect future PAAC network plans. Portlandâs TriMet system completed a similar study in 2018 (TriMet 2018). Another example of equity in planning can be found at WMATA. Anticipating increased demand for bus services through 2030, WMATA developed the Bus Transformation Project, an evidence-based 10-year plan with equity goals and strategies that range from planning to fare systems to housing: â¢ Aligning routes and resources to meet ridership demand and connect areas; â¢ Enhanced integration of the bus system with other transportation modes; â¢ Linking bus service with land use decisions to support affordable housing; â¢ Improving mobility options for persons with disabilities; â¢ Providing affordable end-to-end transportation; â¢ Modernizing payment systems to meet the diverse needs of customers; and â¢ Ensuring convenient, equitable transit service for those who most depend on it (Washington Area Bus Transformation Project 2020). Effects on Local Housing and Businesses As transportation services expand to reach more riders and increase accessibility, it is important to recognize the disruptive effects transit construction can have on local home- owners, renters, and business owners. While research has found that close proximity (within half a mile of a stop) to public transportation increases the value of homes (Hopkins 2017), it has also found that the process of bringing public transportation into neighborhoods can yield negative effects. Housing displacement, increased taxes, traffic congestion, decreased land and road space, heightened safety risks associated with transit vehicles, and construction pollution are some of the potential costs to local communities (Litman 2020). Transit agencies (along with other infrastructure development agencies) tend to proactively address the negative geographic consequences of transit development on local businesses but lack
138 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry measures to remedy impacts on housing and homeowners. Regarding the former, the case study agencies have made concerted efforts to help businesses cope with construction-related physical displacement and disruption. For example, in 2016, AC Transit, with the City of Oakland and the City of San Leandro, began building East Bay Bus Rapid Transit (AC Transit 2019). In addi- tion to forming mitigation funds to help businesses cope with disturbances, the transit agency allocated roughly $2 million to provide technical assistance to affected businesses, including business operations training, referrals to specialty consultants, and various financial programs (City of Oakland 2015). LACMTA is another proactive case study transit agency with regard to local business assis- tance. The following points summarize the agencyâs efforts at equity improvement among businesses affected by LACMTA operations. â¢ In 2014, LACMTA implemented the Business Interruption Fund (BIF), a business assistance program for small firms (25 or fewer employees) located along specific transit construction corridors. Since its implementation, the BIF has provided more than $20Â million in financial assistance to more than 340 grantees affected by construction. Prior to the BIF, LACMTA partnered with other public agencies to offer low-interest loans to affected businesses during the construction of its Red Line. â¢ LACMTA created a Business Solution Center (BSC) to provide more direct support to small businesses along one portion [the Crenshaw/Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) corridor] of a bus rapid transit construction project. Businesses located near the construction site can participate in the BSC program (with few eligibility requirements) and receive services such as business support, website development, and marketing and financial capital support. More recently, BSC has helped local businesses find resources to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, BSC has provided assistance to more than 670 small businesses in the Crenshaw/LAX corridor (LA Metro 2019). â¢ LACMTA has also developed a program to promote and advertise restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues affected by construction (and now COVID-19) called Eat, Shop, Play. The goal of Eat, Shop, Play, is to increase the visibility of disrupted businesses and inform the community that businesses are open during construction. Similarly, Trinity Metro has also proactively raised awareness for local businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Trinity Metro has also added a racially conscious component to its small business awareness efforts. Sparked by national unrest over the police killings of unarmed African Americans in tandem with the economic downturn in the spring of 2020, Trinity Metro promoted a list of African Americanâowned business with bus routes and addresses in JuneÂ 2020. Some business assistance strategies are more effective than others in mitigating displacement during construction. Grant payments and forgivable loans, for example, have been found to better support firms facing significant revenue loss in these situations. Also, for equity programs to be effective, agencies must prioritize outreach so local businesses are aware of the services they offer (PolicyLink 2013). As stated earlier, efforts to reduce the effects of construction on residential spaces is limited. Few agencies work with public and private entities to aid homeowners and renters affected by public transit. However, some agencies stand out from the norm, such as the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) in Portland. Since 2015, TriMet has assisted the development of 718 transit-adjacent housing units (65% of which are affordable housing) in a bid to âmaximize density, minimize gentrification, and transform public spaces by creating mixed-use development near transit stations, with a diversity of uses and income levelsâ (TriMet 2020).
Case Studies of Transit Agency Efforts 139Â Â Fare Pricing Public transit fare pricing is another facet of social equity, as fares dictate accessibility. For example, a fare that is too high excludes impoverished individuals from transit use and can have a negative effect on the ability of persons with low socioeconomic status to attain geographically distant employment opportunities. TRB has published several reports on the intricacies of fare pricing (McCollom and Pratt 2004; Wallischeck etÂ al. 2015; Okunieff 2017), but these sources have limited investigations to how to make fare pricing more equitable for riders of specific demographics. It appears that fare pricing is not a focus of equity efforts. As noted by McCollom and Pratt (2004), while âmost transit systems consider fare equity when transit pricing and fare changes are made, few transit systems make changes solely for reasons of fare equityâ (pp. 12â13). There are many types of transit fare structures, including flat fees, distance-based fares, zone-based fares, pricing based on service type, time-of-day pricing, and concession fares. Some agencies use a combination of pricing strategies. Prices may also vary depending on the method of payment, such as transit cards versus cash (Ma etÂ al. 2017; Lipscombe 2016). For example, BART encourages riders to use the Clipper Card, a reusable and reloadable transit fare payment card, and adds a 50-cent surcharge to riders who purchase a single-use ticket. (It should be noted that in a bid for pricing equity, BART discounts this surcharge for seniors, persons with disabilities, and youths.) Within the framework of traditional transit fare structures, there are clear horizontal and vertical inequities. Horizontal equity is achieved when passengers pay as much as they use; inequities occur when they do not. Vertical equity in transit pricing requires that costs and benefits are distributed according to the need for services and/or ability to pay; disparity between the benefits received (trip length) and cost (fare) implies inequality. In social equity literature, researchers note that pricing structures are effective when riders perceive the costs of service to be in line with the benefits received (as reflected by the marginal costs of their trips). However, fares are considered both effective and equitable when, in addition to perception of fair cost, fares account for the income capacity of riders (Bandegani and Akbarzadeh 2016). All the case study transit agencies have made attempts at vertical equity in fare pricing. Transit agencies modify and discount fare for certain rider groups, such as students, youths, seniors, and persons with disabilities. For example, AC Transit offers members of the aforementioned groups a 60% discount on monthly passes; Houston Metro offers a 50% discount for these groups, with seniors over the age of 70 riding free; and LACMTA reduces fares up to 80%, depending on the particular group. LACMTA also implements a progressive fare price equity measure for low-income individuals called the LIFE pass, which discounts qualifying individualsâ 7- and 30-day passes by 24%. These efforts are what transit and social equity researchers call price elasticity, and they note that elasticity is an important tool in increasing accessibility (Zhou etÂ al. 2019). Another facet of equity in fare pricing is the expansion of payment type. Payment systems, which range from cash-, card- and account-based, can inadvertently limit the ridership of certain groups, particularly in multimodal agencies. Account-based systems (typically stored on mobile devices) are the most equitable systems for transit agencies (Okunieff 2017). This is because account-based systems âcan provide an unlimited number of fare policy strategies, extend to multiple fare media, and expand to emerging and integrated mobility optionsâ (Okunieff 2017, p.Â 70). However, account-based systems are not free of inequities. This type of system typically must be linked to a credit or debit card, which poses a barrier to individuals who do not partici- pate in the banking/credit system or lack the ability to do so. Just as with discounted rates for certain groups, case study agencies have made efforts to develop multiple fare systems and payment methods. For example, in recent years, the New York City MTA has made efforts to simplify payment methods, expand fare purchasing locations,
140 Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry and reduce the ârequirement to know, select and purchase fare products in advance to enter any of MTA bus and subway servicesâ (Wallischeck etÂ al. 2015, p.Â 85). MTA also provides multiple fare systems, such as the MetroCard and EasyPayXpress. Forward-thinking agencies, such as GCRTA (2020), have conducted (or are planning) fare equity studies to assess how agency-specific pricing structure and payment methods affect riders. As diversity, equity, and inclusion become more important to transportation agency leadership, it is likely that fare equity studies will become commonplace. Language Inclusion Transit agencies across the nation have made an effort to expand the use of multiple languages in services, thereby increasing the accessibility of rider use and understanding as well as normalizing the use of diverse languages. Some public transportation agencies with large Spanish-speaking ridership, like WMATA, offer Spanish announcements on board. Others utilize the indigenous language of their locale. For example, broadcasts on TheBus on Oahu, Hawaii, include the Native Hawaiian 'Oâ lelo language and pronunciation of locations. Not only does this encourage proper pronunciation, but it also normalizes the use of an indigenous language previously restricted in earlier decades. Internationally, the promotion of indigenous languages on public transit can be seen readily, such as on the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit in Taiwan, where broadcasts are made in the indigenous language of Hakka as well as in Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese, and English; and on the Iarnrod Eireann (Irish Rail) in Ireland, where announcements are made in Gaelic and English (Lodge, n.d.). For language groups that may not be large enough to warrant additions to public announce- ments, some transit agencies offer translated documents (e.g., route maps and brochures) and translation services. For example, the People Mover bus system in Anchorage, Alaska, developed an evidence-based Language Access Plan in 2019 to address the growing populations of Tagalog, Spanish, Hmong, and Korean speakers with limited English proficiency in the Anchorage community. The plan includes creating the following items (Rudolph 2019): â¢ Signs in different languages; â¢ âPoint to Your Languageâ posters; â¢ Trained bilingual staff; and â¢ Translation of primary rider documents into Tagalog, Spanish, Hmong, and Korean. People Mover also has developed partnerships with several local translation services to address the growing language diversity of its community. Transit Policing Policing in public transit has become a hot-button topic among social activists and people of color, who have raised awareness of bias and discrimination (including racial profiling) on buses, trains, rail, and more. There have been violent and lethal conflicts between riders and transit police over the past 15Â years, most notably the killing of Oscar Grant III by a BART police officer in 2009 and the beating of a homeless rider by a Houston Metro police officer in 2016 (Stelloh 2016). National protests in 2020 against police violence sparked by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (among many) have heightened public calls for the disarming and defunding of police officers of all types, including those who patrol transit. Several transit agencies included in this research have made steps to address these demands while maintaining public safety on their services. For example, in JuneÂ 2020 the LACMTA board of directors voted to form a study committee to investigate how to reduce armed police presence
Case Studies of Transit Agency Efforts 141Â Â in public transit and improve unarmed responses (Fonseca 2020). This decision by LACMTA is a change from the transit agencyâs actions in 2017, which called to double the number of law enforcement officers in the LACMTA system (Fonseca 2020). BART has made efforts as well. In August 2020, the BART Police Chief created a new branch of the department called the Progressive Policing and Community Engagement Bureau, which aims to further the reforms already made by the transit agency after the killing of Oscar Grant III in 2009. Reform measures have included the use of body cameras and oversight by the Citizen Review Board and Inde- pendent Police Auditor (Jordan 2020). Reform of transit policing is seen by some as a stepping-stone to overall police reform. Considered the âultimate beat copsâ who conduct in-person patrols and interact constantly with the public, transit police are in the position to initiate change in the landscape of policing and shift traditional paramilitary law-and-order policing into a community-oriented one (Muller 2020). Community policing is the prioritization of de-escalation, reduction of force, and use of empathetic responses to address public safety concerns, with an emphasis on social services and prosocial community engagement. Community-oriented public safety is seen by activists and researchers as a more equitable form of policing, as marginalized groups that were once the target of policing (e.g., people of color and homeless individuals) are given a reprieve from unwarranted stops, suspicion, and excessive force. The planned disarming of LACMTA police and BARTâs formation of the Progressive Policing and Community Engagement Bureau may signal the beginning of reimagined equity in transit policing.
Abbreviations and acronyms used without definitions in TRB publications: A4A Airlines for America AAAE American Association of Airport Executives AASHO American Association of State Highway Officials AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials ACIâNA Airports Council InternationalâNorth America ACRP Airport Cooperative Research Program ADA Americans with Disabilities Act APTA American Public Transportation Association ASCE American Society of Civil Engineers ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials ATA American Trucking Associations CTAA Community Transportation Association of America CTBSSP Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program DHS Department of Homeland Security DOE Department of Energy EPA Environmental Protection Agency FAA Federal Aviation Administration FAST Fixing Americaâs Surface Transportation Act (2015) FHWA Federal Highway Administration FMCSA Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FRA Federal Railroad Administration FTA Federal Transit Administration GHSA Governors Highway Safety Association HMCRP Hazardous Materials Cooperative Research Program IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ISTEA Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 ITE Institute of Transportation Engineers MAP-21 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (2012) NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASAO National Association of State Aviation Officials NCFRP National Cooperative Freight Research Program NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NTSB National Transportation Safety Board PHMSA Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration RITA Research and Innovative Technology Administration SAE Society of Automotive Engineers SAFETEA-LU Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (2005) TCRP Transit Cooperative Research Program TDC Transit Development Corporation TEA-21 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (1998) TRB Transportation Research Board TSA Transportation Security Administration U.S. DOT United States Department of Transportation
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