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Officials won't expand civil rights probe as sought by bus riders

November 1, 2011 |  3:52 pm

It's standing room only for some riders traveling on a westbound MTA 720 express line, on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles  in January 2010. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

The Federal Transit Administration last week denied an appeal from the Bus Riders Union for a full investigation into civil rights and other complaints against Los Angeles County's transportation agency, deciding instead to continue with a compliance review that started last summer.

“The FTA made a decision to close the complaint without an investigation and to await the results from a Title VI compliance review of Metro begun in July of 2011,” Art Leahy, head of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, wrote in a Monday morning brief.

Sunyoung Yang, an organizer with the union, said the compliance review was based on a complaint from last November. She said she hopes the FTA acts more forcefully after releasing its report sometime this month or next.

“We hope the FTA makes some strong, conclusive findings of noncompliance and forces them to reverse the course,” Yang said.

The union published a report titled “Transit civil rights and economic survival in Los Angeles” last month alleging, among other things, that “two fare increases combined with steep reductions in bus service [at the MTA] have created a new civil rights and environmental justice crisis.”

RELATED:

Bus riders seek federal probe

MTA OK's deep cuts to bus service

U.S. to investigate MTA over alleged bias

-- Ari Bloomekatz

Photo: It's standing room only for some riders traveling on a westbound MTA 720 express line, on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles in January 2010. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

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