Editor’s note: In issue 43 (Oct. 17–23), Northwest Asian Weekly’s editorial was regarding Georgia’s new rail line. Designated the “Yellow Line,” the editorial spoke of how the name can be construed as racially insensitive, as the area the rail runs through has a high population of Asian Americans. In the editorial, we lauded the actions of John Yasutake, manager of equal opportunity and conflict resolution at the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), for bringing this to the attention of MARTA. The following is the response Yasutake received. It has been edited for content.
Dear Mr. Yasutake:
Thank you for your letter on Oct. 7, 2009. We certainly value your input and suggestions as we strive to expand and improve our interface with different groups that make up the Asian American community in the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Although we recently changed the names of our rail lines to colors, this was done to assist our patrons, as well as visitors to the Atlanta area, in traversing our system. In addition, it was done to bring MARTA into alignment with the rest of the transit industry that uses color coding to refer to their various rail lines.
While it was certainly not our intent to be contemptuous in changing the name of the Doraville Line to the Yellow Line, we thoroughly understand the historical perspective that you shared with us on this matter. As a result, this gives us added impetus to increase both our internal and external cultural diversity efforts to maximize the Asian American community’s inclusion in sensitivity training.
In this connection, we have already met with representatives of the Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, and we are slated to meet with the Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS) and the Korean American Coalition in the near future.
Thank you for your commitment to excellence and your dedicated service to the Authority. We look forward to our increased involvement with the Asian American community in the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Beverly A. Scott, Ph.D., Marta General Manager/CEO