Celebrating ‘Transit Equity Day’ and Rosa Parks’ birthday with free RTS fares
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Sunday marks the celebration of Rosa Parks’ birthday, a trailblazer in the civil rights movement. In light of her birthday, February 4 is now “Transit Equity Day.”
Let’s rewind to 1954. Black Americans faced segregation of all kinds, and a civil rights movement was gaining momentum. President Truman ordered to end discrimination in the military a few years prior. The nation watched as the case of Brown v. Board of Education worked to do away with segregation in public schools.
In 1955, when a woman named Rosa Parks decided to sit in the front of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, a movement was born. At the time, Black passengers were only to sit at the back of the bus. Parks refused to give up her seat when a white man got on and couldn’t find a seat at the front — resulting in her arrest.
Parks ignited a fire — otherwise known as the Montgomery Bus Boycott — in which Black passengers refused to ride city busses in Montgomery in protest of the segregation. The year-long boycott ultimately led to the Supreme Court’s decision to abolish segregation on busses.
Now, Parks’ birthday is celebrated with Transit Equity Day as a thanks to her brave contributions to the civil rights movement. Regional Transit Service, or RTS, is celebrating the day a number of ways.
One RTS bus was unveiled Friday, decorated in Parks’ honor. Each of their 400 busses will have a seat reserved for Parks from Friday, Feb. 2 until February 4. That seat will include a card with information about Transit Equity Day and a QR code for an informational video.
Lastly, a ride on at RTS bus Sunday won’t cost you a thing in Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, and Ontario counties.
Fore more information about Transit Equity or to watch the informational video made by RTs, click here.