(DAYTON, OHIO) … It all started with a bus. The Greater Dayton RTA will honor civil rights icon Rosa Parks by reserving a seat in her name at the front of every bus for a week as part of a celebration for Black History Month. The seat will be reserved for Mrs. Parks beginning Monday, Feb. 19.
On Dec. 1, 1955, Mrs. Parks was sitting in the “colored” section toward the back of a bus in Montgomery, Ala. As the bus began to fill up, the driver ordered Mrs. Parks to give up her seat to a white passenger but she refused. The 42-year-old was arrested and briefly jailed for this refusal—which sparked an expansive bus boycott by the Montgomery Improvement Association. The MIA, led by civil rights newcomer Martin Luther King Jr., began the boycott on Dec. 5, 1955 when Mrs. Parks was found guilty of disorderly conduct and violating a local ordinance. Blacks were encouraged not to ride the bus to work or school, and many walked as far as 20 miles in support of the movement. The bus boycott lasted 381 days and officially ended when the city repealed its law requiring segregation on public buses, prompted by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Browder v. Gayle that this segregation was unconstitutional.
Mrs. Parks became an international symbol for civil disobedience and resistance to racial segregation, dedicating her life to the cause of civil rights. Her quiet strength made a seat available for everyone, everywhere. In honor of her efforts, the RTA will reserve a seat for Mrs. Parks toward the front of all 177 buses in its fixed-route fleet. This seat will be reserved for the period of one week, ending Sunday, Feb. 25. The agency would ask passengers to respect the sign reserving this seat, and also honor Mrs. Parks during Black History Month by choosing another place to sit in the interim.
More can be found about Mrs. Parks and her efforts on RTA’s website at iriderta.org.
For a listing of route changes, sign-up for route alerts: i-riderta.org. Follow us on twitter at twitter.com/gdrta , or like us on Facebook at facebook.com/iriderta.
RTA is Ohio’s greenest fleet, and serves over 3,000 stops on 34 routes throughout Montgomery and parts of Greene County. The agency operates diesel, hybrid diesel, and electric trolley buses that take people to work, school and shopping. Customers ride RTA on more than 9 million passenger trips each year. RTA is committed to providing the highest levels of customer service as the region’s first choice for alternative transportation.