Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Home

Calendar | Contact Us | Links | Organizations | Get Involved | Talking Points | OTAK Study | PAT Watch | Communities
Martin Luther King Light Rail & Bike Trail
Discrimination Suit Against PAT

  This is a copy of the text from the complaint as filed in federal court on July 7, 2000, since then by separate stipulations Swissvale Economic Development Corp. and Edgewood Borough have been withdrawn as plaintiffs, and Neal H. Holmes has been withdrawn as a defendent in order to streamline the case.
  The case has since been ended completely due to a court ruling (Sanibel) that precludes individuals or local goverments, pretty much anyone but the Justice Department or the FTA, from bringing suit against organizations like PAT.

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

 

 

RANKIN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT            JURY TRIAL DEMANDED

CORPORATION,

SWISSVALE ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION,

BOROUGH OF EDGEWOOD,

JAMES SCHOFIELD,

TONYA HAWKINS, on behalf of

herself and her minor children,

MICHAEL and MYKAYLA HAWKINS,

and TODD and ISABEL SUMME

on behalf of themselves and their

minor children, DREW, JUSTIN,

DANIEL, and THOMAS SUMME,

 

                         Plaintiffs,

 

                                                                                                            v.            No. 00-1318

 

PORT AUTHORITY OF ALLEGHENY

COUNTY, and NEAL H. HOLMES,

as Chairman of the Board of Port

Authority of Allegheny County,

 

                        Defendants.

 

 

COMPLAINT

 

            Plaintiffs, Rankin Community Development Corporation, Swissvale Economic Development Corporation, the Borough of Edgewood, James Schofield, Tonya Hawkins, and Todd and Isabel Summe, through their undersigned counsel, bring this Complaint against Defendants, the Port Authority of Allegheny County and Neal H. Holmes.

 


Introduction

 

            This is an action to enforce Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq., and regulations promulgated thereunder by the United States Department of Transportation at 49 C.F.R. Part 21.  In determining the type and location of services and facilities to be provided under mass transit programs receiving federal transportation funding, Defendants have knowingly utilized criteria or methods of administration that have had the effect of subjecting black residents of eastern neighborhoods of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania to discrimination because of their race.  Specifically, Defendants have spent more public transit money for the benefit of whites than for blacks, using federal funding to provide better, quieter, cleaner light rail transit service to predominantly white neighborhoods and suburbs, while providing inferior, noisy, polluting bus service to racially-mixed neighborhoods.  Defendants have thereby imposed a disproportionate environmental burden on black communities and residents, and have excluded them from the opportunities and benefits attendant on participation in an emerging county-wide rail-based transit system.  Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief against continuation of such discrimination.

 

Parties

 

            1.            Plaintiff, Rankin Community Development Corporation, is a non-profit corporation that represents the interests of residents of the Borough of Rankin (Rankin), a territorial and political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania located within Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, with respect to community planning and economic development.

            2.            Plaintiff, Swissvale Economic Development Corporation, is a non-profit corporation that represents the interests of residents of the Borough of Swissvale (Swissvale), a territorial and political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania located within Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, with respect to community planning and economic development.

            3.            Plaintiff, the Borough of Edgewood (Edgewood), is a territorial and political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, located within Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

            4.            Plaintiff, James Schofield, is an individual who resides in Rankin at 503 Kenmawr Avenue, Rankin, Pennsylvania 15104.  Mr. Schofield is black.

            5.            Plaintiff, Tonya Hawkins, is an individual who resides in Swissvale with her two minor children, Michael and Mykayla Hawkins, at 7513 Roslyn, Swissvale, Pennsylvania 15218.  Ms. Hawkins and her children are black.

            6.            Plaintiffs, Todd and Isabel Summe, husband and wife, are individuals who reside in Edgewood with their four minor children, Drew, Justin, Daniel, and Thomas Summe, at 101 West Hutchinson Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15218.  Isabel Summe is black/hispanic, Todd Summe is white, and the couples children are of mixed race.

 

            7.            Defendant, the Port Authority of Allegheny County (the Port Authority), a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a public authority charged with planning, implementing, and operating mass transit systems in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

            8.            Defendant, Neal H. Holmes, is Chairman of the Board of the Port Authority.  Mr. Holmes resides in the overwhelmingly white Virginia Manor section of Mount Lebanon in the South Hills, described by the local newspaper as one of the better parts of an already upscale community.

Discriminatory Transit Programs

            9.            Defendants have systematically applied criteria that result in better transit systems and service for wealthier white communities and inferior transit systems and service for middle- and low-income mixed-race and black communities.

            10.            The two principal transit corridors in Allegheny County, from which the greatest ridership on the Port Authoritys transit systems is drawn, consist of the communities to the East of downtown Pittsburgh (the East Corridor) and the communities to the South of downtown Pittsburgh (the South Corridor).

            11.            Allegheny County historically has been highly segregated by race.  In particular, residents of the suburban communities along the South Corridor are almost entirely white, while communities with substantial proportions of black residents are primarily clustered along the East Corridor.

            12.            Mass transit systems operated by the Port Authority include light rail transit (LRT), which utilizes electric powered vehicles (LRVs) on fixed rail lines above and below ground; and busways, which are fixed paved highways used exclusively for automotive buses.

            13.            As detailed below, LRT systems are substantially better than busway systems both for riders and for the communities that the systems traverse.

            14.            The Port Authority receives substantial financial assistance from the federal government, through programs administered by the Department of Transportation, for the construction and operation of both its LRT systems and its busway systems.

            15.            The pool of federal funds available to the Pittsburgh region for transit systems is limited; and Defendants have chosen to lobby for, obtain, and use the available federal funding disproportionately for the benefit of wealthy white suburban communities, with the foreseeable consequence that little funding is available for poorer black and mixed-race communities.

            16.            According to the 1990 United States Census, 11.2% of the residents of Allegheny County are black.  All population figures used herein are derived from that Census.

            17.            The communities and neighborhoods adjoining the Port Authoritys existing LRT system have only 3.3% black residents.

            18.            The South Hills suburban communities that principally benefit from the LRT system have an even more uniformly white population.  For example, Dormont, Upper Saint Clair, Castle Shannon, and Mount Lebanon (where Defendant Holmes resides), which are served by the South Hills LRT line, each has only about 0.5% black population.

            19.            On information and belief, nearly all of the riders on the Port Authoritys LRT system are white.

            20.            In effect, in order to participate in the benefits of the Port Authoritys LRT system, one must reside in or along the way to a predominantly white, wealthy suburban community.

            21.            In contemporaneous decisions commencing in the mid-1990s, the Port Authority evaluated the alternatives of extending its two principal operating busways, the Martin Luther King, Jr. East Busway in the East Corridor and the South Busway in the South Corridor, as busways, or of supplanting them with LRT systems.

            22.            The communities along the East Busway have 38.2% black residents, whereas the communities along the South Busway have only 2.2% black residents.

            23.            The residential areas most directly affected by the East Busway have a predominantly black population.  Over 50% of residents of census tracts adjoining the East Busway are black.  When those adjoining census tracts whose buildings are separated from the East Busway by a substantial difference in grade are excluded, the figure increases to over 65% black residents.

            24.            On information and belief, most riders on the East Busway are black, while most riders on the South Busway are white.

            25.            Defendants have elected, and are now planning, to extend the Port Authoritys transit system along the line of the South Busway (the South Extension) as an LRT system, and upgrade other portions of the South Corridor LRT system, at a cost of over $500 Million, and to extend its transit system in the East Corridor along the line of the East Busway (the East Extension) as a busway, at a cost of about $62 Million.  Federal financial assistance within the meaning of 24 U.S.C. 2000d is being received by the Port Authority for each of these Projects.

            26.            The East Extension will begin in Wilkinsburg, a community with 52.5% black residents, and terminate at the border of Rankin, a community with 56.6% black residents.  Defendants have also proposed a Phase II of the East Extension that will end in Braddock, a community with 46.6% black residents.

            27.            Rankin, Wilkinsburg, and Braddock have the three highest percentages of black residents among communities in Allegheny County.  This concentration of black families is a direct result of longstanding discriminatory housing practices that included their segregation into these communities.

            28.            Not coincidentally, Rankin, Wilkinsburg, and Braddock also have substantially elevated percentages of residents below the poverty line, ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 times the average poverty rate in Allegheny County.

            29.            The communities along the proposed East Extension have 32.3% black residents, whereas the communities along the South Extension have only 0.8% black residents.

            30.            Defendants undertook a detailed comparison of busway and LRT alternatives for the South Extension, and chose the LRT alternative in substantial part because it is environmentally preferable.  As the Port Authority explained in a September 1994 Environmental Report for the South Extension, [c]onversion to LRT will enhance air quality, since LRVs do not themselves emit air pollutants and emissions from a single fixed source of electric power can be better controlled than emissions from many buses.  The same Report referred to a busway proposal as a lesser alternative to an LRT system.

            31.            Despite repeated requests from affected residents and communities, Defendants declined to consider an LRT system for the East Extension, and declined even to compare the relative merits of busway and LRT alternatives for the East Extension.  In its October 1995 Environmental Assessment for the East Extension (the Environmental Assessment), the Port Authority stated that [a] conversion to rail is not under consideration at the present time because there is no reason to do such a conversion.

            32.            The East Corridor has substantially greater public transit ridership than the South Corridor or any other transit corridor in Allegheny County.

            33.            When the East Busway was being planned in the 1970s, the Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Planning Commission stated in public planning documents that in view of the high ridership in the East Corridor, this corridor would support by far the most significant rapid transit line in the region, and that the busway therefore would likely be upgraded to another technology by the Year 2000.

            34.            The Port Authority purposely designed and built the East Busway with space and material load tolerances that would permit conversion to LRT.

            35.            The Port Authority designed and built a rail line and a station platform linking the LRT system to the end of the East Busway in downtown Pittsburgh, so that the busway could readily be incorporated into the LRT system upon its conversion to light rail.

            36.            Notwithstanding the Port Authoritys stated intention and concrete preparations to convert the East Busway to LRT, Defendants repeatedly have accorded funding priority to other projects that have benefitted white riders and communities.

            37.            Defendants principal justification for not considering an LRT system along the route of the East Busway and Extension is that the cost is too high.   Even using the Port Authoritys cost projections, however, conversion of the East Busway and Extension to an LRT system would be no more costly per mile than the South Extension, and would be substantially less costly per transit rider.

            38.            Indeed, a substantial portion of the federally funded South Extension, covering a shorter distance than the East Extension at a greater projected cost, will serve to link the LRT system to Country Club Drive in Upper Saint Clair in order to replace a defunct transit line that served just thirty-four (34) riders per day.

            39.            Defendants persistently have withheld from the public information that would enable an informed comparison of the true environmental and monetary costs of LRT and busway alternatives, and have instead supplied disinformation calculated to preclude meaningful consideration of any alternative other than the busway that Defendants preordained as the sole appropriate alternative for the mixed-race residents of the communities along the East Busway and Extension.

            40.            In 1998, Defendants representatives told residents of affected communities that funds could not be made available for LRT in the East Corridor for at least 20 years, even though the residents had been requesting inclusion in the LRT system for many years already.   At about the same time, however, Defendants were able to announce that funds would be available almost immediately for a newly-requested, more expensive extension of the LRT to the North Shore of Pittsburgh (the North Shore Connector), which will primarily benefit white LRT riders who reside in wealthy white communities along the LRT lines.

            41.            Although earlier plans called for extension of the LRT system into the North Side, thereby providing service to black and mixed-race neighborhoods there, the routes now under consideration by Defendants for the North Shore Connector would deny service to these areas and instead provide service only to sports arenas and related commercial developments under construction on the North Shore, which will be patronized primarily by whites.

            42.            In effect Defendants actions have created a segregated dual transit system in which the communities and riders served by LRT are primarily white, and areas and routes with mixed-race or primarily black population and ridership are not considered for integration into the emerging county-wide LRT system.

            43.            On information and belief, the Port Authority spends substantially more money per rider on transit capital costs, operating and maintenance expenses, and operating subsidies for white riders than for black riders.

            44.            The Port Authority has recently proposed a substantial fare increase to apply solely to bus fares and not to LRT fares.  This fare increase will be borne disproportionately by black transit riders, and will exacerbate the disparity between the Port Authority's operating subsidies for white and black riders.

            45.            Since the East Busway opened in 1983, the $62 Million East Extension is the only mass transit project undertaken for the benefit of mixed-race or predominantly black communities in Allegheny County.  In the interim, the Port Authority has spent or allotted about $2 Billion for fixed line mass transportation projects to benefit predominantly white communities.

                                                                                               

Benefits of Light Rail

            46.            LRVs used by the Port Authority are substantially quieter than buses used by the Port Authority.

            47.            LRVs used by the Port Authority emit little or no atmospheric pollution, whereas buses used by the Port Authority emit substantial amounts of carbon monoxide, particulates, and other pollutants.

            48.            LRVs are generally recognized by transit riders as preferable to buses.

            49.            Defendants have decided upon LRT as the backbone of an emerging county-wide transit system linking downtown Pittsburgh with the greater Pittsburgh International Airport, the hospitals and universities of Oakland, and the stadiums and related development underway on the near North Shore of Pittsburgh, as well as to the wealthy white suburbs in the South Hills and eventually in the North Hills.

            50.            In announcing plans for the North Shore Connector at a cost of about $300 - 600 Million, the Port Authority explained that it chose the LRT mode of transit because its riders prefer to stay on a single mode of transit from the beginning to the end of their trip.

            51.            In other words, the Port Authority acknowledged that the planned North Shore Connector is intended to be an enhancement for the benefit of riders who already have access to LRT - that is, primarily for white riders from wealthier suburbs in the South Hills.

            52.            Because riders prefer to remain on a single mode of transit, proposed future LRT lines to the airport and Oakland also will benefit disproportionately the primarily white riders with access to LRT in their communities.

            53.            In addition to direct transit benefits for residents of communities served by LRT, the enhanced transportation afforded by the LRT system makes the favored communities with LRT access more attractive as locations for commercial enterprises, and thereby provides a substantial impetus for economic development in those communities.

            54.            Transportation equity is a key component in addressing poverty, disenfranchisement, and unequal opportunity.  The exclusion of mixed-race and black communities from the developing LRT system will obstruct their residents' access to employment, services, and medical, educational, and recreational facilities throughout Allegheny County.  Moreover, restricting integration and interaction via an exclusive fixed-line transit system will perpetuate the County's history of unlawful segregation.

Adverse Busway Impacts

            55.            The planned East Extension will go through the Eastern communities of Wilkinsburg, Edgewood, and Swissvale and terminate at the border of Rankin (the Busway Extension  Communities).

            56.            In addition to being excluded from the benefits of the Port Authoritys LRT system, the Busway Extension Communities and their residents will suffer from substantial adverse environmental impacts associated with the planned East Extension.

            57.            In contrast to the cleaner, quieter LRVs which Defendants have elected to use in wealthy white suburbs, the hundreds of buses that will be used on the planned East Extension will generate high levels of noise and air pollution.

            58.            The diesel engines used in the great majority of the Port Authoritys buses generate very high levels of particulate emissions - 100 times more than gasoline engines under the same load conditions.  Particulates from incomplete combustion of diesel fuel have been shown in numerous studies to cause respiratory diseases (such as bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma), chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, pneumonia, heart disease, cancer, and death.  Moreover, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (the "EPA"), particulates from diesel exhaust may pose a significant cancer risk even with low-level exposure.

            59.            Particulates from diesel combustion cause or exacerbate asthma, a disease that afflicts more than 10 Million people in the United States and is increasingly prevalent among children.  Black children have a substantially higher incidence of asthma than white children.

            60.            The most dangerous particulates are those less than 2.5 microns in size, because these minute particles pass through the bodys defenses deep into the recesses of the lungs, and cannot readily be cleared out by normal processes.  More than 98% of the particles in diesel exhaust are substantially smaller than 2.5 microns.

            61.            Particulates from diesel exhaust are especially dangerous, because they are coated with toxic chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, nitroaromatics, benzene, and dioxin.  The fine particles of diesel exhaust deposit these toxicants deep within the body.

            62.            The elderly and the very young are especially susceptible to the deleterious effects of the particulate pollution generated by buses.

            63.            In addition to particulates, diesel exhaust from buses contains more than 40 chemicals listed by the EPA as toxic air contaminants, known human carcinogens, probable human carcinogens, reproductive toxicants, or endocrine disrupters.

            64.            LRVs, on the other hand, do not use diesel fuel and do not generate particulates or various other toxins generated by buses.

            65.            Buses generate very substantially more carbon monoxide than LRVs.  Carbon monoxide exposure is also associated with heart and lung diseases.

            66.            According to the Port Authoritys figures used to justify the selection of light rail for the South Hills, buses generate 10 times as much noise in operation as LRVs and more than 100 times as much noise when they pull away from stations.

            67.            Although much of the existing East Busway, including portions that pass through the primarily white residential communities of Bloomfield and Shadyside, is constructed substantially below the level of adjoining communities, portions that pass through the primarily black residential communities of Homewood and Wilkinsburg, as well as substantial portions of the planned East Extension, are elevated above street level along a corridor through residential neighborhoods.  The elevated position of the Busway and planned Extension exacerbates the effects of the noise and air pollution on surrounding residences.

            68.            Mr. and Ms. Summe and their children live within  approximately 100 feet of the elevated portion of the planned East Extension.

            69.            Ms. Hawkins and her children live within approximately 200 feet of the planned Swissvale Station on the East Extension.

            70.            Defendants intend to operate more than 500 buses per day along the planned East Extension and past the Hawkinss and the Summes houses.

            71.            Four-year-old Mykayla Hawkins attends day care each day at the Moms House facility located at 2538 Woodstock Avenue in Swissvale, adjacent to the terminus of the planned East Extension.  Moms House is a non-profit day care center for children of single mothers.  Most of the children attending day care at Moms House are black, and all are from economically disadvantaged families.

            72.            Defendants plan to have hundreds of buses per day enter, exit, and turn around at a planned bus station that will be separated only by a wall from the playground area where Mykayla Hawkins and the other children at Moms House have legally mandated outdoor recreation each day.  Buses starting and stopping at the station will generate maximum levels of noise and air pollution.

            73.            Children like Mykayla and the others at Moms House are especially susceptible to air pollution from concentrated bus activity because they have a higher metabolic rate and air intake than adults and they receive greater relative doses of airborne pollutants.  Toxic substances are also more easily absorbed into childrens immature lungs and bodily tissues, and their immature immune systems are less effective at fighting off resulting diseases.  Moreover, the childrens narrower airways are more subject to obstruction due to inflammation brought on by airborne irritants.

            74.            The planned East Extension will end at the border of Rankin, and Defendants plan to use Rankins streets for buses entering and exiting the extension, imposing adverse environmental impacts on Rankins residents.

            75.            Defendants plan to construct a park and ride lot in Rankin for the use of transit riders boarding buses at the end of the East Extension.  The purpose and effect of the park and ride lot will be to encourage riders to drive to Rankin from other communities, thereby further increasing traffic on Rankins streets.

            76.            Mr. Schofield lives within about 700 feet of the terminus of the planned East Extension, on the street on which buses entering and exiting the extension will travel.

            77.            In connection with operation of the East Extension, Defendants intend to operate more than 200 buses per day along the street in front of Mr. Schofields house, resulting in more than a ten-fold increase in bus traffic on that street.

            78.            The intersection adjoining the Kenmawr bridge in Rankin, which will be traversed by the buses entering and exiting the East Extension, is frequented by predominantly black children living in Public Assistance housing nearby.  The high concentration of buses at this already busy intersection will pose safety and pollution hazards to the children and other neighborhood residents.

            79.            More generally, the East Extension will channel more than 500 buses per day directly beside or in close proximity to parks, churches, day care centers, a library, an elementary school, playgrounds, a community pool, and the homes and yards of families who live in the Busway Extension Communities.

            80.            In response to community concerns about environmental impacts of the proposed East Extension, the Port Authority produced the Environmental Assessment, which utilized methodologies that were calculated to, and did, substantially understate adverse impacts, with the purpose and effect of avoiding a thorough environmental review and consideration of environmentally preferable alternatives such as LRT.

            81.            For example, the Environmental Assessment dismissed concerns over particulate pollution by applying a computer model designed to predict dispersal of carbon monoxide - a gas with very different physical properties from solid particulates (which, according to the EPA, can remain suspended in the air for long periods of time) - under conditions of free-flowing traffic.  The Port Authority has acknowledged that it does not have a model designed to assess dispersal of particulates, and it has offered no reason to believe that its model yields reliable results when applied to particulates generated by starting and stopping buses.  The EPA has specifically questioned the applicability of the Port Authoritys model.

            82.            The Environmental Assessments conclusion that there would be no noise impact was premised on a flawed analysis that included spreading the noise from sporadic trains over time to yield a high baseline noise level, thereby discounting the effect of much more frequent bus noise filling in the quiet periods between trains.

            83.            Numerous deficiencies in the Environmental Assessment were pointed out by affected citizens and communities, but Defendants have disregarded the deficiencies and adhered to the factually unsupportable position that the East Extension will cause no significant environmental impact.

            84.            The Port Authoritys position with respect to the environmental impact of buses on the East Extension is directly contrary to its position with respect to the South Extension, where it deemed an LRT system environmentally preferable.

            85.            The Port Authoritys Environmental Assessment was essentially limited to effects along the East Extension itself, and never gave appropriate consideration to environmental impacts on Rankin, or to the impacts of increased busway traffic on other black and mixed-race communities along the present East Busway.

            86.            A public policy favoring environmental justice is reflected in Executive Order 12898 (Feb. 11, 1994), which provides:

            To the greatest extent practicable by law . . . each federal agency shall make achieving environmental justice part of its mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies and activities on minority populations and low income populations . . . .

            87.            In their reports to federal agencies, Defendants have not accurately or appropriately identified or addressed the disproportionate adverse health and environmental impacts imposed on poor and minority communities by Defendants programs, policies, and activities funded by those agencies; rather, by ignoring or downplaying such impacts, Defendants have prevented the federal agencies from identifying or addressing them as contemplated in Executive Order 12898.

            88.            Defendants failure to consider, or their decision to disregard, the East Extension's impact upon racial minorities reflects an inappropriately narrow conception of the project.  Indeed, a principal purpose of public involvement required by federal regulations is to ensure that broader values are brought to bear on the transit planning process.

            89.            Families residing in the Busway Extension Communities merit the same concern and consideration as those residing in the South Hills suburbs.  Their health, the safety and cleanliness of their daily transportation, their air, their quiet, and their communities' cohesion, aesthetics, and economic development are no less important and merit no less advocacy or expenditure.

            90.            Defendants discriminatory refusal to support LRT for the Busway Extension Communities and their discriminatory development of LRT for the exclusive benefit of predominantly white communities disproportionately imposes environmental and health burdens attributable to a polluting, disease-causing bus system on the basis of race, and denies benefits of an admittedly cleaner, healthier, more desirable LRT system to black residents and taxpayers.

 

COUNT I

            91.            The averments of Paragraphs 1 through 90 hereof are incorporated herein by reference.

            92.            Section 601 of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d, provides that [n]o person in the United States 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.

            93.            Defendants have persisted in adopting and implementing funding and resource allocation methodologies that provide superior transit service to white communities and inferior transit service to mixed-race and black communities despite knowing that their decisions would subject residents and transit riders to racial discrimination.

            94.            Defendants systematic procurement and allocation of greater federal resources for predominantly white communities and the foreseeably resultant relative deprivation of mixed-race and predominantly black communities as set forth herein constitutes intentional discrimination on the basis of race, in violation of the foregoing statute.

            95.            Plaintiffs have suffered and continue to suffer injury as a result of Defendants unlawful conduct described herein.

 

COUNT II

            96.            The averments of Paragraphs 1 through 95 hereof are incorporated herein by reference.

            97.            Regulations promulgated by the United States Department of Transportation and applicable to the Port Authoritys LRT and busway systems provide in pertinent part:

            A recipient, in determining the types of services . . . or facilities which will be provided . . . may not, directly or through contractual or other arrangements, utilize criteria or methods of administration which have the effect of subjecting persons to discrimination because of their race . . . .

            In determining the site or location of facilities, a recipient . . . may not make selections with the purpose or effect of excluding persons from, denying them the benefits of, or subjecting them to discrimination under any program to which this regulation applies, on the grounds of race . . . .

49 C.F.R. 21.5(b)(2), (3).

            98.            The Appendix to the foregoing regulations states by way of example that:

            No 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 or service, age and quality of vehicles assigned to routes, quality of stations serving different routes, and location of routes may not be determined on the basis of race, color, or national origin.

 

49 C.F.R. Part 21 Appendix C(a)(3)(iii).

 

            99.            Defendants decision to obtain and expend substantially more funds to provide superior LRT systems to service primarily white communities, while relegating mixed-race and predominantly black communities to inferior busway systems, has the effect of subjecting black residents of Rankin, Swissvale, Edgewood, and other affected communities, including the individual Plaintiffs herein, to discrimination on the basis of race, in violation of the foregoing regulations, in that they are disproportionately subjected to the burdens and denied the benefits of disparate transit systems.

            100.            Plaintiffs have suffered and continue to suffer injury as a result of Defendants unlawful conduct described herein.

 

COUNT III

            101.            The averments of Paragraphs 1 through 100 hereof are incorporated herein by reference.

            102.            42 U.S.C. 1983 provides that:

            Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State . . . subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in [a ] . . . proper proceeding for redress.

            103.            Defendant Holmes's conduct as set forth herein was undertaken under color of Pennsylvania state law, and has subjected the individual Plaintiffs herein and other black residents of Rankin, Swissvale, Edgewood, and other affected communities to deprivation of rights secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States, including the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

            104.            Plaintiffs have suffered and continue to suffer injury as a result of Defendant Holmess unlawful conduct described herein.

            105.            Plaintiffs are entitled to redress pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983.

 

           
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand:

            a.            A declaratory judgment to the effect that Defendants, through their funding and resource allocation policies and practices, have created and continue to maintain and extend transit systems that discriminate against black residents and transit riders in the Eastern Corridor in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and administrative regulations promulgated thereunder;

            b.            A declaratory judgment to the effect that Defendant Holmess funding and resource allocation policies and practices have deprived the individual Plaintiffs of rights, privileges, and immunities secured by the laws of the United States, in violation of 42 U.S.C. 1983;

            c.            Appropriate injunctive relief prohibiting Defendants from continuing to implement funding and resource allocation policies and practices that discriminate against blacks, and prohibiting the Port Authority from the continuation and extension of its racially discriminatory transit system;

            d.            An Order mandating adoption by the Port Authority of an appropriate plan to provide services to remedy qualitative disparities between transit systems in white and in mixed-race or black communities;

            e.            Impoundment of federal funds allocated to the Port Authority pending adoption of an appropriate remedial plan;

            f .            The costs of this action, including a reasonable attorneys fee pursuant to the Civil Rights Attorney's Fees Awards Act of 1976, 28 U.S.C. 1988; and

            g.            Such further relief as may be just.

 

           

 

A JURY TRIAL IS DEMANDED FOR ALL ISSUES AS TO WHICH THERE IS A RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY.

 

           

 

                                                            Respectfully submitted,

                                                                       

                                                            ________________________________

                                                            David B. Rodes (Pa. ID #47819)

                                                            GOLDBERG, PERSKY, JENNINGS & WHITE, P.C.

                                                            1030 Fifth Avenue

                                                            Pittsburgh, PA  15219

                                                            (412) 471-3980