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Civil Rights

ADA

The mission of the city’s ADA Coordinator is to ensure that all programs, services, and activities at KATS are accessible, and that practical use by individuals with disabilities, regardless of whether they are residents or visitors to our city, is not restricted or hindered in violation of standards relating to individuals with disabilities. Disability, as defined by the ADA, is a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more of major life activities.

Reasonable Modification: In order to ensure that services are provided by KATS, whenever feasible, request for modifications shall be made and determined in advance during the KATS Dial A Ride ADA eligibility process or through customer service inquiries. Due to the unpredictable nature of transportation, some requests for reasonable modification are often one-time situations and may be made while in transit. Requests need to be submitted in writing to the ADA Coordinator by using the Request for Accommodation and Request for Barrier Removal form located at: www.kingsporttn.gov/government/request-accommodation-barrier-removal-form/; additionally, you may inquire about any needed modifications in person or in writing at 109 Clay Street.

Grievance Procedure: KATS follows the city of Kingsport ADA Grievance Procedure for formal complaints and appeals process. An individual who has requested a communication aid or service for, or attempted to access, a city service, activity, or program and is dissatisfied or believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of a disability, may file a formal complaint (in accordance with this grievance procedure established to meet the mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act). Details of the City’s ADA Compliance and Grievance Procedure can be found at: www.kingsporttn.gov/government/ada-compliance/

DBE

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)Program

It is the policy of KATS (Kingsport Area Transit Service) to afford Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), as defined in 49 CFR Part 26, as amended, the maximum opportunity to participate in the performance of contracts financed in whole or in part with federal funds.  KATS DBE Policy Statement may be viewed by Clicking Here.

What is a DBE?
A DBE is a for-profit small business that is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged, as defined in 49 CFR Part 26. For a link to DBE regulations, 49 CFR Part 26, Click here. A copy of the DBE regulations is also available at the KATS Transit Center.

How does a business become certified as a DBE?
KATS DBE certification is administered by the Small Business Development Program, Civil Rights Office, Tennessee Department of Transportation(TDOT). To print a DBE application (with instructions), Click Here. You may also pick up a copy of a DBE application at the KATS Transit Center. Once a business is certified as a DBE, the Tennessee Unified Certified Program allows multiple agencies to utilize the same certification statewide, to simplify the application process.
Completed DBE applications should be mailed to:
Tennessee Department of Transportation
Civil Rights Office, Small Business Development Program
Suite 1800, James K. Polk Bldg.
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-0347

What are the advantages of being certified as a DBE?
Certification as a DBE provides greater exposure for contract opportunities. Upon being certified as a DBE, your business’s address is added to a state-wide database which is compiled and maintained by TDOT. This list, the TDOT Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Listing, is accessed by other transit systems, as well as municipal and state agencies seeking to do business with DBEs. Being certified as a DBE enhances a business’s exposure to the business community. However, there is no requirement to be a certified DBE in order to do business with KATS. The current TDOT Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Listings may be viewed by clicking here. A copy of the TNUCP Certified DBE Listing is also available at the KATS Transit Center.

Is there any cost to become certified as a DBE?
No.
Business assistance from local resources which is available to current and prospective DBEs (including potential start-up businesses), including areas of technical, financial, and management information, is listed below:
TDOT Civil Rights Office, Small Business Development Program: “DBE Fastrac”: A quarterly newsletter providing information for DBE’s an small business’s, including upcoming DBE’s seminars/workshops. This newsletter may be viewed/printed by clicking here.
Small Business Administration: Calendar of Training Events in Tennessee
TN Department of General Services: https://www.tn.gov/generalservices/article/registration-for-certification1
ETSU Innovation Library: The ETSU Innovation Laboratory is an economic development initiative of East Tennessee State University, partnered with the 1Tennessee Small Business Development Center and the ETSU Entrepreneurial Leadership Program. (423-439-8500)

Filing a Non ADA Complaint or Leaving Feedback

We encourage, though do not require, individuals to first file a complaint directly with KATS in order to give us an opportunity to resolve the situation. KATS also welcomes suggestions and feedback that can help us gain knowledge that will improve our service. KATS has a formal complaint process in order to actively and quickly respond to local complaints.

There are 3 ways to leave complaints, comments or suggestions for KATS:

1). Request and fill out a complaint, comment or suggestion form at the front desk at the transit station at 109 Clay Street.
2). Leave a complaint, comment or suggestion online under the “contact” section on the KATS website at www.kingsporttransit.org.
3). Leave a complaint, comment or suggestion on the KATS phone line by calling 423-224-2613 and selecting option #5.

A complaint must be submitted in writing and must include detailed information such as name, address and telephone number of the complainant as well as pertinent information about the alleged incident (e.g. location, date, description of the problem). A KATS representative will offer to meet with the grievant to discuss the complaint and possible resolutions within 15 calendar days after receipt of the complaint. (if not sooner). This meeting can occur either in person, over the phone, electronically, or in any format agreeable to the grievant and the Transit Director. If the response by the Transit Director or designee does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the grievant or designee may appeal the decision within fifteen (15) calendar days after receipt of the response to the City Manager. Within fifteen (15) calendar days after receipt of the appeal, the City Manager or designee will offer to meet with the grievant to discuss the complaint and possible resolutions. This meeting can occur either in person, over the phone, electronically, or in any format agreeable to the grievant and City Manager. Within fifteen (15) calendar days after the meeting, the City Manager or designee will respond in writing, in a format accessible to the grievant, with a final decision of the city regarding the complaint. All written complaints and responses (made or received) will be retained by the City of Kingsport for at least three (3) years.

TITLE VI

Kingsport Area Transit Service is committed to providing non-discriminatory service. It is the policy of KATS, as a department of the City of Kingsport, and a grant recipient of the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration, to ensure compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; 49 CFR, Part 21; related statutes and regulations to that end that no person shall be excluded from participation in or be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex, or national origin, under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

It is the goal of KATS to reduce language barriers for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP), including the development and implementation of the Kingsport Area Transit Service Language Assistance Implementation Plan for LEP Persons, which also fulfills the requirements of Executive Order 13166, issued on August 11, 2000. We encourage, though do not require, individuals to first file a complaint directly with KATS in order to give us an opportunity to resolve the situation. If you believe Kingsport Area Transit Service has failed to comply with any of the above requirements, please click on and fill out the Title VI complaint form so that we may address your complaint locally.

If you believe KATS has failed to comply with any of the above requirements, you may file an administrative complaint with the FTA Office of Civil Rights. Complaints should be filed within 180 days of the alleged violation.

How to File
You may file a complaint by completing the FTA complaint form requirements found at https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/civil-rights-ada/file-complaint-fta.

Quick Links to important KATS information

View KATS Routes  |  Dial-A-Ride Services  |  Fares  |  Rider Code of Conduct  |  DBE Policy | Reasonable Modification Policy