Foursquare ITP developed the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) premier Public Participation Plan (PPP), an element of its 2014 Title VI Program that goes well beyond the Federal requirement. Through a multi-faceted development process, it captured both innovative and effective methods for reaching Title VI protected populations as well as creating a project planning process and organizational change recommendations to standardize the process of public participation throughout the Authority, including the transition to centralized management of public participation, which WMATA has now implemented. This allows technical WMATA staff to focus on their work, reduce duplicative expenses, add staff expertise on public participation, and increase the quality of public participation for all projects and all groups.
As part of this effort, Foursquare ITP planned, developed all content for, and implemented the public outreach program for the PPP, branded as “Speak Up! It’s Your Ride.” Speak Up! It’s Your Ride included 23 events held in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, including pop-ups at Metrorail Stations, festivals, shopping centers, and multi-family residential buildings; community meetings with students and immigrants; and focus groups with community based organizations. A survey on public participation and communications preferences, available in six languages, was administered on tablets at the pop-up events and available online. Over 3,500 individuals completed the public survey, and of the respondents 69 percent were minorities, 28 percent were low-income, and 10 percent were LEP.