PUBLISHED: February 4, 2022
The Bus is Equity in Action
Today is Transit Equity Day, in honor of the late Rosa Parks who was born in Alabama on February 4, 1913. When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on her afternoon bus commute on December 1, 1955, she ignited not just the 381-day Montgomery bus boycott, but sparked a movement which led to the desegregation of bus systems throughout the country, opening up the road for bus equity across the nation.
“I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people.”
In A Testament of Hope, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. noted that urban transit systems are a “genuine civil rights issue.” In communities of color and in poor urban and rural communities, there are, and have long been, riders who depend on the bus to maintain gainful employment, secure educational opportunities, and access vital community services like health care, childcare, and food.
“…the layout of rapid transit systems determines the accessibility of jobs.”
―Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., A Testament of Hope
Over the years, GBT has continuously worked toward diversity, equity, and inclusion through measures to ensure that our employees represent the communities we serve, that we are removing barriers to contracting with minority and women owned businesses and small businesses, that our services are meeting the needs of riders with disabilities and are fully accessible, and that we do not discriminate in the way we use our resources or plan and operate our services.
In addition, GBT is working toward the full electrification of its city bus fleet with two zero tailpipe emission buses in regular service, three on order, and an additional six in the pipeline – to contribute to improved air quality in our neighborhoods.
We have installed more than thirty shelters in our region and are planning for many more through a regional transit amenity task force – because shelters are an essential part of public transportation.
“There is no question that mobility is a critical rung on the ladder of success.”
―Doug Holcomb, CEO, GBT
We are currently developing plans for later night service for night-shift workers because people need a way to get home from jobs, and we are always working to improve our frequencies because our riders’ time is valuable. Today, we are also working hand-in-hand with other community organizations assisting the reentry population as well as refugees – because mobility is an important part of making a home and finding work.
“Contributing to a better community through public transportation is the mission at GBT. The mission is a path, not a place, and we are on it every day.”
―Doug Holcomb, CEO, GBT
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