June 16, 2024

VIA Metropolitan Transit Honors Rosa Parks with Fare-Free Service


In a poignant observance of Rosa Parks Day, VIA Metropolitan Transit is set to offer fare-free service on Friday, Dec. 1, paying homage to the indomitable civil rights figure whose courageous act reshaped the course of the American Civil Rights movement.

VIA joins transit agencies and cities nationwide in designating Dec. 1 as a day of remembrance for Rosa Parks. On this day in 1955, Parks was arrested for refusing to yield her bus seat to a white passenger, catalyzing a transformative wave of civil rights activism. Inspired by her bravery, leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., orchestrated a successful bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, lasting several months and contributing significantly to the desegregation of U.S. public transportation.

The VIA Board of Trustees, in 2019, passed a resolution to annually observe and commemorate Parks’ contributions and the role of transit in the American Civil Rights movement each December. To intensify this tribute, on Thursday, Nov. 30, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., VIA will host a special event at St. Philip’s College Watson Fine Arts Center Theater, located at 1801 Martin Luther King Drive. Free parking is available in Lots 10 and 11, accessible via VIA Route 26.

Event Highlights:
– 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.: Explore VIA’s Rolling Museum
– Featuring a compelling timeline of crucial moments in public transportation and the American Civil Rights Movement, displayed inside a meticulously restored 1968 Dreamliner bus.

– 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.: “Sister Rosa Parks, the Bus Stops Here” Performance by Jean Donatto
– Doors open at 5:30 PM for this FREE community event celebrating Rosa Parks, with actress/storyteller Jean Donatto portraying the civil rights icon.

In addition to the fare-free service, VIA buses and VIATrans and VIALink vans will illuminate the streets with their headlights throughout the day on Dec. 1, creating a symbolic and powerful tribute to Parks’ memory.

The fare-free service on Dec. 1 extends to all passengers, including those utilizing VIAtrans. VIAtrans customers are reminded to book their trips in advance following standard procedures.

VIA has been steadfast in its commitment to honoring Rosa Parks and recognizing the profound impact of public transportation in the modern Civil Rights movement. The Rosa Parks Seat Program, initiated in 2005, serves to educate and engage riders about Parks’ historic contributions. In each of VIA’s 500-plus buses, a bright yellow seat engraved in Parks’ memory is located in the front portion, accompanied by a sign detailing the story of Parks’ protest.

As San Antonio joins the nation in reflecting on the bravery and resilience of Rosa Parks, VIA Metropolitan Transit invites the community to participate in fare-free service on Dec. 1, acknowledging the enduring impact of one woman’s stand for justice.