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Community Voices Heard Reacts to FTA’s Decision on Civil Rights Violation in Case of Poughkeepsie Buses

Poughkeepsie, NY – Last week, the Federal Transportation Authority (FTA) announced that they found no evidence of a civil rights violation towards bus riders of color in the City of Poughkeepsie.

Community Voices Heard (CVH) had filed a complaint that the transfer of bus service between the City and the County would result in a significant reduction in service and would have a disparate impact on the basis of race, color, or national origin. CVH argued that neither the City nor the County provided a substantial or legitimate justification for the changes and that the analysis conducted by the County was flawed.

The City’s 2016 decision to terminate its public transportation services and transfer the responsibility to the County directly impacted thousands of Poughkeepsie residents. Furthermore, it is apparent that this arrangement disproportionately affects communities of color. This decision was made without conducting a service equity analysis and against the voices of the Poughkeepsie’s surrounding neighborhoods.

“Community Voices Head is disappointed in the FTA’s decision, but we will not be deterred. As an organization, we will continue to fight for bus routes to be restored to Northside Poughkeepsie residents. Public transportation serves as a lifeline for thousands of these residents, and it is disheartening to see the local government not work to ensure those needs are met. CVH will amplify the voices of those affected and see that this decision does not silence them,” said Aufa Atta-Mensah, Esq., Executive Director, Community Voices Heard.

“The County avoided Title VI liability by abandoning its original plan to replace 55 streets with 22 streets. Those changes were made after the pushback from Community Voices Heard members and the previous Common Council.  As Common Council Member At Large I will work with my colleagues and CVH to make sure bus rider transportation needs are met,” said Poughkeepsie Common Council President Ann Finney.

“We will keep fighting in spite of the FTA decision. Beginning March 3rd, CVH members will begin monitoring the new bus routes and meet with County transportation officials to ensure an effective public transportation system is in place. Every city deserves a transportation system that serves its people equally. Poughkeepsie will not be the exception,” said Karlton Jones, Poughkeepsie Bus Rider, and CVH member.


About AJ Woodson (2369 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.

1 Comment on Community Voices Heard Reacts to FTA’s Decision on Civil Rights Violation in Case of Poughkeepsie Buses

  1. There is a lot of context missing from this article. For instance, there is no mention of CVH, Ann Finney,and the previous Common Council blocking the transfer of city bus assets to the county for months, buses which could have been put on the streets much sooner to provide additional coverage. They were preventing these buses from being put in service for the residents under a seemingly phony promise that they were going to restore a city-run bus service. Ann Finney wrote to the FTA that she would just that immediately once she and the new Council were in office. She has refused to answer any questions about this and the subject she has yet to put this item on a Common Council agenda. At the very least, she is not being transparent about what she is planning. Also, a posed photo showing a CVH rep happily pointing to new county bus routes on a map suggested that even they have backed off their previous positions and are now on board with the county running the buses. I should probably also point out that this same Ann Finney has been helping a group of affluent white residents who are trying to block a daycare center in their neighborhood because they are afraid that children from ‘other parts of the city’ might attend. She calls it working for neighborhood preservation. There is a lot more to all this that what appears in this story. And several other people who could have been interviewed.

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