Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Celia Zanetta

Committee Members

Bruce Tonn, Frederick Wegmann


Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 enforced non-discrimination on programs receiving federal financial assistance. Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) as federally-funded agencies are subject to observe Title VI. In this research, the way in which Title VI provisions are being addressed within the local transportation planning process are analyzed, focusing in particular on Tennessee's MPOs. A comparison at the different strategies used to address Title VI was offered based on an analysis of the information from the 1999 MPOs Title VI Assessment Reports, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) letters of response to MPOs concerning the reports, and the opinion from MPOs staffs. From this analysis, it was concluded that Title VI provisions have not been completely integrated into the local transportation planning process. In addition, the existing reporting requirements adopted by TDOT are inconsistent with the MPOs operational structure. A revision of the requirements employing a collaborative approach between TDOT and MPO staffs is suggested for improvement. Allocation of economic and human resources geared at enhancing the outreach efforts to promote public participation, is also recommended. Likewise, more training is suggested with the goal of educating MPOs' staffs and the general public about this important non-discrimination law.

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