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We Ride With Rosa!

A Tribute to a Civil Rights Icon

Trimet President and supporters celebrate Rosa Parks on birth anniversary

On Dec. 1, 1955, Rosa Parks changed the course of history when she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her act of defiance and resulting arrest sparked protests from the streets of Montgomery that inspired change across the United States. Rosa Parks’ brave act became a cornerstone of the civil rights movement and the catalyst for a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court affirming transportation equity as a civil right.

TriMet did not collect fare on Sunday, Feb. 4, in honor of Rosa Parks, on what would have been her 111th birthday. The TriMet Board of Directors passed a resolution in 2020, declaring Parks’ birthday as a day of remembrance across our 533-square-mile service district. Outgoing District 5 Director Keith Edwards, a leader in the local Black community and a lifelong community activist, proposed the annual observation. “Rosa Parks revealed to the nation the inequities borne from ignorance. She said no more,” said Edwards


“As TriMet’s first Black General Manager and a person of African American heritage, Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a bus affects me personally,” said TriMet General Manager Sam Desue Jr. “I am humbled and beyond proud to lead an organization that provides a public service where all are welcome. TriMet connects people — all people, no matter the color of their skin or where they came from — with opportunity.”


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