Language Assistance Plan

MCTA Language Assistance Plan

8.A. Language Assistance Plan

1. Introduction

The purpose of this Limited English Proficiency Plan guidance is to clarify the  responsibilities of recipients of federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities to limited English Proficient Persons (LEP), pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and implementing regulations. It was prepared in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d, at seq., and its implementing regulations provide that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin under any program or activity that receives federal financial assistance.

2. Executive Order 13166

Executive Order 13166 "Improving Access to Services for Persons With Limited English Proficiency," reprinted at 65 FR 50121 (August 16, 2000), directs each federal agency that is subject to the requirements of Title VI to publish guidance for its respective recipients clarifying that obligation. Executive Order 13166 further directs that all such guidance documents be consistent with the compliance standards and framework detailed in the Department of Justice's (DOJ's) Policy Guidance entitled "Enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964-National Origin Discrimination Against Persons With Limited English Proficiency," (See 65 FR 50123, August 16,2000 DOJ’s General LEP Guidance). Different treatment based upon a person's inability to speak, read, write, or understand English may be a type of national origin discrimination. Executive Order 13166 applies to all federal agencies and all programs and operations of entities that receive funding from the federal government, including state agencies, local agencies such as the Monroe County Transportation Authority (MCTA) and governments, private and non-profit entities, and sub recipients. 

3. Plan Summary

MCTA has developed this Limited English Proficiency Plan (LEP) to help identify reasonable steps to provide language assistance for LEP persons seeking meaningful access to MCTA services as required by Executive Order 13166. A Limited English Proficiency person is one who does not speak English as their primary language and who has a limited ability to read, speak, write or understand English. This plan details procedures on how to identify a person who may need language assistance, the ways in which assistance may be provided, training staff, how to notify LEP persons that assistance is available and information for future plan updates. In developing the plan while determining MCTA's extent of obligation to provide LEP services, MCTA conducted a U.S. Department of Transportation four factor LEP analysis which considers the following: 1) The number or proportion of LEP persons eligible in the MCTA service area who may be served or likely to encounter a MCTA program, activity or service; 2) the frequency with which LEP individuals come in contact with MCTA services; 3) the nature and importance of the program, activity or service provided by MCTA to the LEP population; and 4) the resources available to MCTA and overall costs to provide LEP assistance. A brief description of these considerations is provided in the following section. 

4. Four Factor Analysis

MCTA conducted a Four Factor Analysis as required by FTA Circular 4702.1b.  The below further details actions taken by MCTA as a result of the Four Factor Analysis:

i. The number or proportion of LEP persons eligible in the MCTA service area who may be served or likely to encounter a MCTA program, activity or service.

MCTA examined the US Census Report at, and using data for the MCTA service area, was able to determine that approximately 84.8 % of the population speak English only, 8.7% speak Spanish or Spanish Creole languages, 4.5% speak Indo-European, 1.2% speak Asian languages (Korean, Chinese or Vietnamese) and .8% speak other unspecified languages. After completing the first factor of the Four Factor Analysis, it was concluded that the Spanish language exceeded the Safe Harbor Provision.

2013-2017 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates: Monroe County, PA and State & County QuickFacts Monroe County, PA

Sources: “Selected Social Characteristics in the United States: 2013-2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates”
“State & County QuickFacts, Monroe County, PA”
2013-2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates: Monroe County, PA
2012 Total Population from : 169,842
Language Spoken at HomeEstimateMargin of
PercentPercent Margin of
Popluation 5 years and over159,792-33159,792(X)
English Only135,4741,77584.8%1.1
Language other than English24,3181,77515.2%1.1
Speak English less than "very well"6,8028484.3%0.5
Speak English less than "very well"3,3425462.1%0.3
Other Indo-European languages7,1831,4924.5%0.9
Speak English less than "very well"2,4786171.6%0.4
Asian and Pacific Islander languages1,9854581.2%0.3
Speak English less than "very well"6542180.4%0.1
Other languages1,2383780.8%0.2
Speak English less than "very well"3281750.2%0.1

ii. The frequency with which LEP individuals come in contact with a MCTA program activity or service.

MCTA assesses the frequency at which staff and drivers have or could possibly have contact with LEP persons. This includes documenting phone inquiries by the MCTA Call Center and Program Enrollments Departments, as well as surveying drivers and customer service personnel. This service is also available to individuals using any other MCTA programs or services. MCTA receives approximately 10 phone inquiries each month for assistance. We will continue to track the frequency of the contacts. Spanish speaking individuals can call 570-839-6282 extension #3 for assistance. All information on our website can be translated into over eighty (80) plus languages using Google Translate

iii. The nature and importance of the program, activity or service provided by MCTA to LEP community.

There is no large geographic concentration of anyone type of LEP individuals in the MCTA service area, the overwhelming majority of the population, 84.8%, speak only English. We attend numerous outreach programs to assist all individuals of our community. We will continue to document the number and areas of the county in which the LEP residents reside.

MCTA has met and works with East Stroudsburg University, Northampton Community College, community organizations and major employers. Combining their information with its experiences, MCTA has realized larger numbers of LEP individuals utilizing its services for employment, medical and educational reasons. Saturday service was expanded to meet workers’ needs.

iv. The resources available to MCTA and overall costs.

MCTA assessed its available resources that could be used for providing LEP assistance. This included reviewing available organizations that MCTA could partner with for outreach and what level of staff training is needed. After analyzing this, MCTA developed the plan outlined in the following section for assisting persons of limited English proficiency.

8.B. Limited English Proficiency Plan Outline

1. How to Identify an LEP Person who Needs Language Assistance

Below are tools to help identify persons who may need language assistance:

• Track incoming calls for the number and frequency of those that need language assistance.
• Examine records requests for language assistance from past meetings and events to anticipate the possible need for assistance at upcoming meetings.
• When MCTA sponsored workshops or conferences are held, set up a sign-in sheet and have a staff member greet and briefly speak to each attendee to informally gauge the attendee's ability to speak and understand English.
• Survey drivers and other first line staff on an annual basis regarding their experience on having any direct or indirect contact with LEP individuals.

2. Language Assistance Measures

MCTA has or will implement the following LEP procedures. The creation of these steps are based on the very low percentage of persons speaking other languages or not speaking English at least "well," and the lack of resources available in the MCTA service area:

• Continuation of the bi-lingual program availability.
• Provide additional documents in Spanish on or website. All vital documents are made available to LEP individuals who exceed the Safe Harbor threshold through web translation or bi-lingual staff assistance (Executive Office Analyst).
• Continue using Google Translate to provide language translation of website into over eighty (80) languages.
• Continue to print schedules in Spanish.

3. MCTA Staff Training

MCTA staff will be provided with the LEP Plan and will be educated on procedures to follow training topics:

• Understanding the Title VI policy and LEP responsibilities.
• Reminder that Google Translate is available to provide language translation of website into over eight (80) languages.
• Documentation of language assistance requests.
• How to handle a Title VI and/or LEP complaint.
• What language assistance service the MCTA offers.

4. Outreach Techniques

MCTA does have a formal practice of outreach techniques resource available in the service area they include:

Brochures and outreach documents have been updated to state that language assistance services are available from MCTA. These documents are available throughout the county and service area.
• MCTA participates with a variety of community-based organizations such as ‘Pocono Info, the Chamber of Commerce, the County Assistance Office and the Monroe County Council on Inclusion’. Through this involvement and personal outreach by staff, stakeholders are informed that LEP individuals can receive these services by contacting our agency directly. We also participate in assorted community events held by the assorted agencies, institutions and groups throughout the year.
• MCTA updated their automated telephone voice mail attendant to provide information in Spanish in 2007. This system remains in place to serve our Spanish speaking patrons. After dialing 570-839-6282, callers are instructed to dial 433 to a reach bi-lingual staff member.
• Local Advisory Board Meeting is held 3 times each year to allow for public comments and service improvements.

8.C. Monitoring and Updating the LEP Plan

This plan is designed to be flexible and is one that can be easily updated. At a minimum, MCTA will follow the Title VI Program update schedule for the LEP Plan. However, major updates most likely will not occur until the next Census in 2020 unless MCTA finds it necessary and crucial for an update before such time.

Each update should examine all plan components such as:

• How many LEP persons are encountered?
• Were their needs met?
• What is the current LEP population in MCTA service area?
• Has there been a change in the types of languages where translation services are needed?
• Is there still a need for continued language assistance for previously identified MCTA programs?
• Are there other programs that should be included?
• Have the MCTA's available resources, such as technology, staff and financial costs changed?
• Has MCTA fulfilled the goals of the LEP Plan?

8.D. Dissemination of MCTA Limited English Proficiency Plan

MCTA intends to include the LEP plan on the MCTA website ( together with its Title VI Policy and Complaint Procedures. MCTA's Notice of Rights under Title VI to the public is available in the MCTA lobby on the front desk and on all vehicles.

Any person, including social services, non-profit and law enforcement agencies, along with other community partners with internet access will be able to access the plan. Copies of the LEP Plan will be provided upon request. LEP persons may obtain copies/translations of the plan upon request.

Any questions or comments regarding this plan should be directed to the Monroe County Transportation Authority’s Title VI Compliance Officer.

Robert J. Gress, Title VI Compliance Officer
Monroe County Transportation Authority
PO Box 339, Scotrun, PA 18355
Phone 570 839 6282 ext. 421
Fax: 570.839.7587