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LEP Plan

Download a copy of the full Title VI Report

Introduction

This Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Plan has been prepared to address GTrans’ responsibilities as a recipient of federal financial assistance as they relate to the needs of individuals with limited English language skills. The plan has been prepared in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance. Specifically, Title VI provides that “no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance”.

GTrans is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of its transit services on the basis of race, color, or national origin.

This plan was developed to guide GTrans in its administration and management of Title VI related activities.

Plan Summary

GTrans has developed this Limited English Proficiency Plan to help identify reasonable steps for providing language assistance to persons with limited English proficiency [LEP] who wish to access services provided. As defined in Executive Order 13166, LEP persons are those who do not speak English as their primary language and have limited ability to read, speak, write or understand English. This plan outlines how to identify a person who may need language assistance, the ways in which assistance may be provided, staff training that may be required, and how to notify LEP persons that assistance is available. In order to prepare this plan, GTrans undertook the U.S. Department of Transportation’s four-factor LEP analysis which considers the following factors:

  1. The number or proportion of LEP persons in the service area who may be served or are likely to encounter a GTrans program, activity or service.
  2. The frequency with which LEP persons come in contact with GTrans programs, activities or services.
  3. The nature and importance of programs, activities or services provided by GTrans to the LEP population.
  4. The resources available to GTrans and overall cost to provide LEP assistance.

A summary of the results of the four-factor analysis is in the following section.

Four-Factor Analysis

1. The number or proportion of LEP persons in the service area who may be served or are likely to encounter a GTrans program, activity or service.

GTrans reviewed 2010 U.S Census tract level data and the 2014 American Community Survey census update data. Those census tracts that were within 1/4 mile of a GTrans route were considered part of the GTrans service area. The review indicated that the total service area has a population of 498,085 that are five years of age or older. Of those persons, 129,599 (26.0%) speak English “not well” or “not at all”. Of those persons with limited English proficiency, 95,688 (73.8%) speak Spanish. The next languages listed with the highest number of persons that speak English “not well” or “not at all” is Korean at 6,731 persons (5.2%), Tagalog at 6,048 (4.7%), and Japanese at 4,729 persons (3.6%). A number of other language groups make up the remainder of limited English speaking persons in the service area.

As detailed in Figures 1 through 5, census tracts with the majority of limited English speaking persons were located primarily in the Downtown Los Angeles area and along Western and Normandie Avenues, with a fairly large number of limited English speaking persons of Korean, Tagalog and Japanese decent living in the Redondo Beach Blvd. corridor. These tracts had a population of limited English speaking persons ranging from a low of 2% to a high of 50% or more.

2. The frequency with which LEP persons come in contact with GTrans programs, activities or services.

GTrans reviewed the frequency with which staff and drivers have, or could have, contact with LEP persons. This includes reviewing phone inquiries and surveying bus operators. To date, GTrans staff has had infrequent requests for assistance in languages other than English. In an optional survey of bus operators, thirty-seven (37) bus operators indicated a fairly high level of interaction with LEP persons. Just over 60% of all bus operators surveyed indicated that they have daily interaction with LEP persons. Approximately 40% of bus operators surveyed interact with LEP persons 10 or more times a day. The predominate language encountered by bus operators is Spanish, with some interaction with Korean-speaking and Japanese-speaking passengers. There have been few requests made to bus operators for language translation of public information, with 68% of operators indicating that passengers do not request translated materials.

Figure 1: Percentage of English Language Spoken by Census Tract

Figure 1 Map

Figure 2: Percentage of Spanish Speakers with Little or No English Proficiency

Figure 2 Map

Figure 3: Percentage of Korean Speakers with Little or No English Proficiency

Figure 3 Map

Figure 4: Percentage of Tagalog Speakers with Little or No English Proficiency

Figure 4 Map

Figure 5: Percentage of Japanese Speakers with Little or No English Proficiency

Figure 5 Map

3. The nature and importance of programs, activities or services provided by GTrans to the LEP population.

As detailed in Figures 1 through 4, census tracts with the majority of limited English speaking persons were located primarily in the Downtown Los Angeles area and along Western and Normandie Avenues, as well as the Redondo Beach Blvd. corridor. Because GTrans service to Downtown Los Angeles is express-oriented with few stops, the largest geographic concentration of LEP individuals in the GTrans service area that has access to local bus service live adjacent to Western and Normandie Avenues and in the Redondo Beach Blvd. corridor. Between 20% – 50% of Spanish-speaking persons in the Western and Normandie Avenue corridors have little or no English proficiency, and between 20%-40% of persons of Korean, Tagalog and Japanese decent in the Redondo Beach Blvd. corridor have little or no English proficiency. The Nakaoka Community Center, located near GTrans Lines 1, 2, 3 and 4, provides literacy programs and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to community residents. In speaking with a customer service representative of the city-operated community center, they have contact everyday with persons who speak Spanish, Korean and Japanese as a first language. Many participants of the ESL program use transit to access the facility, as well as seniors who ride Gardena Special Transit to the community center, although it is unknown how much they use GTrans compared to other local transit providers (Metro, Torrance Transit). The customer service representative indicated that some comments regarding transit from persons attending the center focused on being unsure of bus stop locations or how to contact GTrans for transit information.

4. The resources available to GTrans and overall cost to provide LEP assistance.

GTrans reviewed its available resources that could be used for providing LEP assistance, which of its documents would be the most valuable to be translated if the need should arise, and evaluated resources that could be used for outreach and translation efforts. Based on the four-factor analysis, GTrans developed its LEP Plan as outlined in the following sections.

Language Assistance

A person who does not speak English as their primary language and who has a limited ability to read, write, speak or understand English may be a Limited English Proficient person and may be entitled to language assistance with respect to GTrans’ programs and activities. Language assistance can include interpretation, which means oral or spoken transfer of a message from one language into another language and/or translation, which means the written transfer or a message from one language into another language. GTrans will determine when interpretation and/or translation are needed and are reasonable. How the GTrans staff may identify an LEP person who needs language assistance:

  • Examine records to see if requests for language assistance have been received in the past, either at meetings or over the phone, to determine whether language assistance might be needed at future events.
  • When GTrans sponsors an event, have a staff person greet participants as they arrive. By informally engaging participants in conversation it is possible to gauge each attendee’s ability to speak and understand English.
  • Have Census Bureau Language Identification (I Speak) Flashcards available at GTrans events near the registration table. Individuals self-identifying as persons not proficient in English may not be able to be accommodated with translation assistance at the event, but it will assist the sponsoring agency in identifying language assistance needs for future events.
  • Network with local community service centers, such as the Nakaoka Community Center, that provide services to LEP individuals and seek opportunities to provide information on transit services.
  • Vehicle operators and other front-line staff, including bus operators, supervisors, customer service representatives, clerical staff and dispatchers will be informally surveyed periodically on their experience concerning any contacts with LEP persons during the previous year.

Language Assistance Measures – GTrans will strive to offer the following measures to LEP individuals, that is, persons who speak English “not well” or “not at all”,:

  • GTrans’ Title VI Policy and GTrans staff will take reasonable steps to provide the opportunity for meaningful access to LEP clients who have difficulty communicating in English.
  • If a client asks for language assistance and GTrans determines that the client is an LEP person and that language assistance is necessary to provide meaningful access, reasonable efforts will be made to provide free language assistance. If reasonably possible, GTrans will provide the language assistance in the LEP client’s preferred language. GTrans has the discretion to determine whether language assistance is needed, and if so, the type of language assistance necessary to provide meaningful access.
  • GTrans will periodically assess client needs for language assistance based on requests for interpreters and/or translation, as well as the literacy skills of the clients.
  • When an interpreter is needed, in person or on the telephone, staff will attempt to determine what language is required and then access language assistance at one or more of the available resources identified under the section “Formal Interpreters” on Page 10.

Safe Harbor Stipulation

Federal law provides a “Safe Harbor” stipulation so that recipients can ensure with greater certainty that they comply with their obligations to provide written translations in languages other than English. A “safe harbor” means that if a recipient provides written translations under certain circumstances, such action will be considered strong evidence of compliance with the recipient’s written-translation obligations under Title VI.

The failure to provide written translations under the circumstances does not mean there is noncompliance, but rather provides a guide for recipients that would like greater certainty of compliance than can be provided by a fact-intensive, four-factor analysis. For example, even if a safe harbor is not used, if written translation of a certain document(s) would be so burdensome as to defeat the legitimate objectives of its program, it is not necessary. Other ways of providing meaningful access, such as effective oral interpretation of certain vital documents, might be acceptable under such circumstances.

Strong evidence of compliance with the recipient’s written-translation obligations under ‘safe harbor’ includes providing written translations of vital documents for each eligible LEP language group that constitutes 5% or 1,000, whichever is less, of the population of persons eligible to be served or likely to be affected or encountered. GTrans’ translation of other documents, if needed, can be provided orally.

This safe harbor provision applies to the translation of written documents only. It does not affect the requirement to provide meaningful access to LEP individuals through competent oral interpreters where oral language services are needed and are reasonable.

In the GTrans service area, the Spanish-speaking, Korean-speaking and Tagalog-speaking LEP language groups constitute the 5% or 1,000 persons of population threshold for which written translations of vital documents should be provided meet the safe harbor standard. Also, while the Japanese-speaking language group constitutes less than the 5% threshold (3.6%), the concentration of this language group in the service area and their history of participation in the civic and social affairs of the City of Gardena would suggest the inclusion of this language group for written translations of vital documents. To meet the safe harbor standard, GTrans will translate vital documents such as the Route & Schedule Guide, the Title VI Report, the LEP Plan and public notices of changes to transit service into the languages listed above through Google Translate on the GTrans website. GTrans staff will utilize features such as Google Translate and multi-lingual staff from the City of Gardena (Spanish, Korean, Tagalog and Japanese speakers) to translate for eligible LEP language groups. GTrans will also proceed with oral interpretation options for compliance with LEP regulations.

Staff Training

The following training will be provided to GTrans staff:

  • Information on the Title VI Policy and LEP responsibilities.
  • Description of language assistance services offered to the public.
  • Use of the Language Identification (I Speak) Flashcards.
  • Documentation of language assistance requests.
  • How to handle a potential Title VI/LEP complaint.

Information will be distributed to all GTrans staff.

Translation of Documents

  • In those cases where the need arises for LEP outreach, GTrans will consider the following options:
    • When staff prepares a document, or schedules a meeting, for which the target audience is expected to include LEP individuals, then documents, meeting notices, flyers, and agendas will be printed in an alternative language based on the known LEP population.
    • Bus schedules, maps, and other transit publications will be made available in an alternative language for the known LEP population.

Formal Interpreters

  • When necessary to provide meaningful access for LEP clients, GTrans will provide qualified interpreters, including any bilingual staff of the City of Gardena, if available. The City of Gardena has identified all city staff that speak languages other than English. At important stages that require one-on-one contact, written translation and verbal interpretation services will be provided consistent with the four-factor analysis used earlier.
  • GTrans may require a formal interpreter to certify to the following:
    • The interpreter understood the matter communicated and rendered a competent interpretation.
    • The interpreter will maintain private information. Non-public data will not be disclosed without written authorization from the client.
    • Bilingual City employees, when available, can provide limited assistance to GTrans staff and LEP clients as part of their regular job duties.

Informal Interpreters

  • Informal interpreters may include the family members, friends, legal guardians, service representatives or advocates of the LEP client. GTrans staff will determine whether it is appropriate to rely on informal interpreters, depending upon the circumstances and subject matter of the communication. However, in many circumstances, informal interpreters, especially children, are not competent to provide quality and accurate interpretations. There may be issues of confidentiality, competency, or conflict of interest.
  • An LEP person may use an informal interpreter of his or her own choosing and at their expense, either in place of or as a supplement to the free language assistance offered by GTrans. If possible, GTrans should accommodate an LEP client’s request to use an informal interpreter in place of a formal interpreter.
  • If an LEP client prefers an informal interpreter, after GTrans has offered free interpreter services, the informal interpreter may interpret.
  • If an LEP client wants to use his or her own informal interpreter, GTrans reserves the right to also have a formal interpreter present.

Monitoring

Monitoring and Updating the LEP Plan – GTrans will update the LEP as required by U.S. DOT. At a minimum, the plan will be reviewed and updated when data from the 2020 U.S. Census is available, or when it is clear that higher concentrations of LEP individuals are present in the GTrans service area. Updates will include the following:

  • The number of documented LEP person contacts encountered annually
  • How the needs of LEP persons have been addressed
  • Determination of the current LEP population in the service area
  • Determination as to whether the need for translation services has changed
  • Determine whether local language assistance programs have been effective and sufficient to meet the need
  • Determine whether transit system’s financial resources are sufficient to fund language assistance resources needed
  • Determine whether GTrans fully complies with the goals of this LEP Plan
  • Determine whether complaints have been received concerning the agency’s failure to meet the needs of LEP individuals

Dissemination of the GTrans LEP Plan

  • A link to the GTrans Title VI Plan and the LEP Plan will be included on the GTrans website, http://ridegtrans.com/contact/title-vi-report and at http://ridegtrans.com/contact/lep-plan.
  • Any person or agency with internet access will be able to access and download the plan from the GTrans website. Alternatively, any person or agency may request a copy of the plan via telephone, fax, mail, or in person, and shall be provided a copy of the plan at no cost. LEP individuals may request copies of the plan in translation which GTrans will provide, if feasible.
  • Questions or comments regarding the LEP Plan may be submitted to GTrans, 13999 S. Western Avenue, Gardena, CA 90249, phone number (310) 965-8888.

Our Promise to Our Customers

GTrans exists to move people by providing safe, reliable and outstanding public transportation to the communities we serve every day.

GTrans is committed to making its electronic and information technologies accessible to individuals with disabilities in accordance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. § 794d), as amended in 1999. Send feedback or concerns related to the accessibility of this website by using our Contact Us Form. For more information about Section 508, please visit the website for the State of California’s Department of Rehabilitation.