Assemblyman Ortiz Outraged by E-ZPass Neglecting Minorities

January 22, 2010
Albany – Today, Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz (Brooklyn-51 AD) gathered with Peter Sikora of Communication Workers of America to express his extreme disappointment with the current E-ZPass’s customer service practices. He was appalled to learn that when non-English speaking customers call the E-ZPass office for assistance, no one is available to help them, and they are told to find someone who speaks English, and call back. Upon hearing this news, Ortiz immediately sent letters to the Governor as well as the chairmen of MTA Bridge and Tunnel Authority, New York & New Jersey Port Authority, and New York State Thruway Authority expressing his concerns over these discriminatory practices.

“In a State as diverse as New York, it is not feasible to conduct business in such a narrow-minded manner. It is totally unacceptable to ignore the needs of Hispanics, Asians, and other minorities”, said Ortiz. As a Hispanic Legislator, and as a representative of a district with a wide variety of citizens from all racial backgrounds, Ortiz has always been genuinely looking out for the needs and rights of minorities; whether they be Asian, Spanish, Russian, or Arabic. “Offering solely English service is a discriminatory policy,” Ortiz continued: “Every citizen is entitled to have access to the services of our State’s Authorities, regardless of their native tongue.”

Assemblyman Ortiz is currently urging E-ZPass to change their practice by offering multi-lingual customer service, or at the very least, multi-lingual automated menu options for the E-ZPass customer service hotline. “We cannot afford to disregard the needs of such a large portion of New York’s population. This policy needs to be corrected,” Ortiz stated.