Free Bus Rides in Honor of Transit Equity Day

Duluth, Minn. –The cities of Superior and Duluth have both declared February 3rd and 4th Transit Equity Day. The day is in honor of Rosa Park’s birthday, the woman who is remembered for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Birmingham, Alabama bus in 1955. She was also a leader in the civil rights movement.

The idea that transit should be basic right is now the norm. Rod Fournier, the General Manager of the Duluth Transit Authority shared his thoughts on Transit Equity Day. ” The role of public transit is ensuring that all citizens have equal access to education, jobs, shopping is crucial,” said Foournier. “A transit agency that is safe, reliable, vibrant and well-funded lays the foundation for opportunities for all members of the community.”

In honor of Transit Equity Day, the DTA had local artist Moira Villiard create three paintings of women pioneers who worked for equity in transit. Rosa Parks, of course is depicted in one of the paintings the other two are of civil rights leaders who are less well known, Pauli Murray and Claudette Colvin. These women had also refused to give up their seats even before Rosa Parks.

There is still work to be completed in making transit truly equitable for all. The Communiy School Coodinator  at Denfeld High School, Saraiyan Piantek, said the rides provided by the DTA are really important to her students. “To me equity means that anybody and everybody has what they need in order to access safe transportation which then provides access to essential resources. DTA functions as a bridge to resources for many struggling families these days.”

The DTA is working to introduce its Better Bus Blueprint plan later this year. It’s a complete re-working of the system that will satisfy the needs of the community and provide improved and more frequent service.

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