Transit Equity Day, officially Sunday, February 4, is a day dedicated to honoring the life and legacy of Rosa Parks on her birthday. Rosa Parks, a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights era, reshaped history in 1955 by refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her courageous act sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, ultimately leading to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision abolishing bus segregation. To pay homage to Ms. Parks’ on her birthday, RTS announced the following efforts:
Transit Equity Day Wrapped Bus: RTS bus wrapped with imagery of Ms. Parks to celebrate her life and legacy throughout Black History Month.
Seat Reserved for Rosa Parks: RTS reserved a seat on each of its 400 buses for Ms. Parks from Friday, February 2, through Sunday, February 4. Each reserved seat will include a placard with a brief description of Transit Equity Day and a QR code to a Transit Equity Day video produced by RTS.
Offered free fares on Sunday, February 4: RTS offered free fares to customers on RTS Connect in Monroe County on Transit Equity Day (Sunday, February 4). Free fares are also available on Sunday, February 4, for RTS customers in Genesee, Livingston, and Ontario Counties, as these are the only other counties in which RTS provides service on Sundays.
“Public Transit played a critical role in connecting people to jobs, education, healthcare, and retail destinations in 1955, just as it does today,” said RTS CEO Miguel Velázquez. “When Ms. Parks took a stand against segregation, she highlighted the importance of equity in public transit, an issue that continues to have an impact today. The RTS team is honored to celebrate the efforts and impact of Ms. Parks, and we will continue doing all we can to provide vital, safe, and sustainable transportation services that connect the community and promote a better quality of life.”
Urban League of Rochester President Dr. Seanelle Hawkins discussed the impact and importance of public transit in the community from an equity perspective.
More information about Transit Equity Day, including the video produced by RTS is available on the RTS website at https://www.myrts.com/Secondary-Nav/About-Us/Upcoming-Events/Transit-Equity-Day.
New Universal Pass Partnership with RTS
Mayor Evans also announced a new Universal Pass (U-Pass) partnership with RTS. Under this partnership, the City of Rochester will purchase bus passes from RTS and make them available to City employees for free. The City U-Passes will provide employees with access to RTS Connect and RTS On Demand services.
“Public transit is a lifeline for so many people,” said Mayor Evans. “It provides a vital connection between family and friends, work and school, and even the grocery store. The U-Pass will be a great tool to help us create a safe, equitable and prosperous Rochester by inspiring hope and delivering opportunity for everyone.”
“I thank Mayor Evans for his support and partnership, and for his leadership on the issue of transit equity,” said RTS CEO Miguel Velázquez. “Public transit is our community’s mobility safety net. It is a driver of economic development, a tool in the fight against climate change, and the means to provide access to affordable housing, food and healthcare in a more equitable community.