Regional Equity and Inclusion

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is careful to ensure that its policies and activities do not disproportionately impact members of the community who, through federal guidance, have been identified as protected classes. Those protected classes include youth, older adult, female, racial minority, ethnic minority, foreign born, limited English proficiency, people with disabilities, and low-income.

Specific policies and activities that are considered include air pollution, noise, safety issues, hazardous materials, limited access to jobs, services and other opportunities, deflated property values, business and/or home displacement, and disproportionate transportation burdens.

Community Engagement Opportunities  

ARC provides meaningful opportunities for community engagement and access to public information by members of minority and low-income populations during the planning and development of programs, policies and activities. This is achieved through a variety of activities, both formal and informal. 

All planning work, whether the components of the plans themselves or the engagement processes employed during development, includes provisions for the following: 

  • Avoiding, minimizing or mitigating disproportionately adverse health and environmental effects caused by ARC programs, policies or activities in regards to minority and low-income populations.
  • Ensuring the full and fair participation of all potentially affected communities in the decision-making processes. 
  • Preventing the denial of, reduction in or significant delay in the receipt of benefits by minority and low-income populations. 
  • Ensuring that information and locations of ARC-sponsored meetings meet ADA accessibility requirements. 

Equity Analyses

The Protected Classes Model

The protected classes model is an analysis that helps ARC more directly and clearly identify the nine populations protected under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and considered within the Executive Order on Environmental Justice. Additional considerations were added based on FHWA’s Environmental Justice recommendations (2017), FHWA’s Title VI and Additional Nondiscrimination requirements (2017), FTA’s Environmental Justice policy guidance (2012), and FTA’s Title VI requirements and guidelines (2012). ARC uses the results of the analysis to demonstrate compliance with this guidance and demonstrate fair treatment of those population groups.

Environmental Justice (EJ) Model

Formerly referred to as Equitable Target Areas (ETA), this equity analysis model still considers racial minority, ethnic minority, and low-income populations, but moves away from the index methodology used in 2012 to a standard deviation scoring method. These three inputs are considered indicators of the greatest potential inequality in the Atlanta region. This updated model guides regional transportation and land use planning investments. Specifically, The ARC Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Project Evaluation Framework utilizes the results of this equity analysis to score and rank proposed projects.

Equity Analyses Resources


DASH is an interactive, online tool developed by ARC to better communicate and visualize regional trends related to transportation and equity. DASH is intended to help our staff, our partners, policymakers, and Atlanta area residents explore our region’s performance – including both where we are excelling and where need to make progress.

Explore Dash


Equitable Target Area Index 

The Equitable Target Area (ETA) index is a tool that helps ARC better identify and understand communities with large minority or low-income populations. The index also guides regional transportation and land use planning and related investments. 

The ETA index measures the impact of investments and programs contained within the Atlanta Region's Plan on ETAs. The ETA index is also used as input for project prioritization and evaluation, monitoring resource allocation, and assisting in decision-making. 

ETA Index Resources

ARC is committed to enforcing the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and taking positive and realistic affirmative steps to ensure the protection of rights and opportunities for all persons affected by its programs, services, and activities.