The purpose of the Public Participation Plan is to ensure and improve access to DART’s decision-making process for low-income, minority and limited English proficient (LEP) populations.
DART endeavors to provide meaningful opportunities for the public to assist staff in identifying social, economic and environmental impacts of proposed transportation decisions. This includes input from low-income, minority and limited English proficient populations.
Specific goals and outcomes include:
- Quality input and participation – Comments received by DART are useful, relevant and constructive, contributing to better plans, projects, strategies and decisions.
- Consistent commitment – DART communicates regularly, develops trust with communities and builds community capacity to provide public input.
- Diversity – Participants represent a range of socioeconomic, ethnic and cultural perspectives, with representative participants including residents from low income neighborhoods, ethnic communities and residents with limited English proficiency.
- Accessibility – Effort is made to ensure that opportunities to participate are accessible physically, geographically, temporally, linguistically and culturally.
- Relevance – Issues are framed in such a way that the significance and potential effect is understood by participants.
- Participant satisfaction – People who take the time to participate feel it is worth the effort to join the discussion and provide feedback.
- Clarity in potential for influence – The process clearly identifies and communicates where and how participants can have influence and direct impact on decision-making.
The Public Participation Plan identifies a menu of available methods for informing the public. While aimed at the general public, they are important tools in reaching minority and LEP populations, who identified them as means by which they receive relevant information. These include, but are not limited to: onboard printed and audio announcements, transit advertising, DART Central Station signage, partner and community outreach, press release, paid media advertising and DART website and social media platforms.
Methods for Involving the Public
Similarly, the Public Participation Plan includes a menu of available methods for involving public participation in DART’s decision-making process. Again, these are important means of engaging minority and LEP populations as well as the general public. These include public meetings, public hearings, opportunity for public comment, surveys and public comment cards. Translation and interpretive services are available upon request for public participation events.
To download a PDF of DART’s complete Public Participation Plan, click here.