VIA Metropolitan Transit will offer fare-free service on Thursday, December 1, in observance of Rosa Parks Day.
VIA joins transit agencies and cities nationwide in designating a day of remembrance for Parks, who on Dec. 1, 1955, was arrested when she refused to give up her bus seat to make room for a white passenger. Her bravery inspired civil rights leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to organize a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, which lasted several months and was successful in efforts to desegregate U.S. public transportation.
The VIA Board of Trustees approved a resolution in 2019 to observe and commemorate her contributions and the role of transit in the American Civil Rights movement each December. This year, customers can ride fare free on Thursday, December 1—the 67th anniversary of Parks’ protest. VIA buses and vans will also keep their headlights on throughout the day to honor Parks’ memory.
VIA commemorates Rosa Parks and the role of public transportation in the modern Civil Rights movement. VIA’s Rosa Parks Seat Program debuted in 2005 and is designed to educate and engage riders about the history and contributions of the civil rights icon. An engraved seat dedicated to Parks’ memory is placed in each of VIA’s 500-plus buses. The bright yellow seat is installed on the front right side of each bus, below a sign that tells of Parks’ Dec. 1, 1955, protest aboard a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama.