Media Center

Feb 3

Celebrate the legacy of Rosa Parks with Transit Equity Day

Silver Spring, MD - Amalgamated Transit Union International President John A. Costa released the following statement to mark Transit Equity Day and Rosa Parks’ birthday.

“More than 63 years ago, Rosa Parks’ historic act of resistance—refusing to give up her seat on the bus— was a critical spark to the civil rights movement.

“To celebrate Rosa Parks’ birthday, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) is joining with the Labor Network for Sustainability, Jobs with Justice, the Institute for Policy Studies, and others to declare Transit Equity Day today on February 4, 2020. Transit Equity Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of the rights of all people to high-quality, public transit that runs on clean and renewable energy.

“ATU Locals from Connecticut to Tennessee, New Jersey to Wisconsin and Washington, DC, are taking part in rallies, leafleting transit riders and joining with climate and community allies to promote transit equity.

“This day is about transit justice, climate justice and worker justice.

“Working people, especially people of color and living in low-income households, depend on the bus, subway and light rail to get to work, school, medical appointments, and complete other daily tasks. Yet, when it comes to reductions in transit service from San Francisco, CA, to the Twin Cities, MN, to Portland, OR, those same communities bear the brunt.

“Transit justice is about investing in public transportation to guarantee that everyone has the right to affordable public transit, regardless of age, gender, race or class.

“Transportation is the largest and fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. Public transit vehicles like buses, however, emit 80% less carbon dioxide than a car, and rail transit emits almost none.

“Climate justice is about expanding public transit access - one of the best ways to fight climate change.

“The workers who operate, maintain and build public transit systems that so many depend on each day are critical to ensure safe and reliable service.

“Worker justice is about supporting the right of these workers to safe, decent working conditions, family-supporting incomes and the right to join a union.

“The best way we can honor Rosa Parks’ legacy on her birthday is to organize for better, more accessible public transit for all.”