Transit Equity Day – A Transit System Rooted in Inclusion and Justice

Today we celebrate Transit Equity Day which coincides with the birth of Civil Rights organizer Rosa Parks. On December 1, 1955, while working as a seamstress and Secretary of the Montgomery, Alabama chapter of the NAACP, Parks made a historic statement by refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus. Her act of civil disobedience sparked one of many legal battles that culminated in the federal case Browder v. Gayle (1956) that desegregated bus systems nationwide.

Brandy smiling in front of a FLASH bus in Germantown.

We honor those generations who struggled before us for justice and equality as we continue to organize for the better world we deserve. While officially sanctioned segregation is no longer the law of the land, race and class are still strong predictors of our access to safe, reliable, and affordable modes of transportation and the vital opportunities transit systems afford us all. Easily accessible transit should not be a luxury for our wealthiest residents, but a right for all of our neighbors to ensure connectivity to housing, employment, education, parks and recreation, houses of worship, social services, and vibrant community life. 

Existing transit systems must be reimagined to meet the needs of all our residents with a focus on equity to ensure we correct patterns of historic disinvestment. New land use policies and transportation systems should be centered around environmental sustainability and enhancing the lives of all residents and local enterprises starting with those at highest risk  displacement. We should work with our communities to identify the greatest needs for updated and enhanced transit service, clean transit stations and adequate bus shelters for riders,  and protected infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists. 

On this Transit Equity Day, we should recommit to continue the struggle of Rosa Parks and so many others before us, for a transit system rooted in inclusion and justice. Today that means modes of public transit that empower every community and protects our water, air, and climate for future generations.

Read Brandy’s platform.

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