County Celebrates ‘Transit Equity Day’ on Rosa Parks’ 109th Birthday

photo of Rosa Parks riding a bus

Montgomery County is celebrating “Transit Equity Day,” a nationally recognized day that commemorates the birthday of Rosa Parks. The civil rights activist would have turned 109 today.

The county will join the celebration by recognizing actions they have taken to improve and expand access to transit, according to a press release.  

Parks, a civil rights activist, was arrested for civil disobedience after she refused to give her seat to a white man on a public bus in 1955. Her actions would then help in the ruling of the landmark Supreme Court case Browder v. Gayle (1956). The supreme court ruled that segregation on buses was unconstitutional.

“On Rosa Park’s birthday, I want to remind residents that supporting public transit expansion, accessibility and affordability works to advance racial, social and economic equality,” Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said. “In my recent CIP budget recommendations, I made transit a priority by supporting funding for the final design and construction of the next two Bus Rapid Transit corridors, known as ‘Flash.’ These projects provide much-needed connections within County Equity Emphasis Areas on Veirs Mill Road and within the central corridor of 355. These Flash lines will provide services that will have a life-altering impact on residents who need them most.”

Historically, many civil rights activists had to fight for their basic rights on public transportation. However, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) expressed that they actively strive to implement equity as part of their core values. 

“We’ve been working on multiple programs and advancements to better transit accessibility,” MCDOT Director Chris Conklin said. “We approach everything we do with an equity lens and rely heavily on public feedback to make meaningful changes to benefit our customers. Our Ride On Reimagined study, which will begin this month, will lead to a complete redesign of our transit system based heavily on public surveys. We will be going out to communities and meeting people where they are to get feedback on community needs.”

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