Portland, OR

TriMet, C-TRAN, and Portland Streetcar will offer FREE rides on February 4 to honor and celebrate Rosa Parks' birthday

Michelle Northrop

TriMet, C-TRAN, and Portland Streetcar will offer FREE rides on February 4 to honor and celebrate Rosa Parks' birthday.Photo byUnseen Histories/UnsplashonUnsplash

On February 4, 2023, TriMet, C-TRAN and Portland Streetcar will offer FREE rides for the day to celebrate the birthday of the iconic Rosa Parks.

If you’re riding on February 4, you won’t need to tap your Hop card or buy a ticket at the station. Just board and ride. Transfers are free, too. Ticket machines will decline purchases on this day and riders attempting to pay by Hop card will not be charged. Fare collection will resume at 2 a.m. on February 5, 2023.

The annual day of remembrance is part of a resolution passed by the City of Portland in 2020, declaring February 4, Rosa Parks Day. A day to honor and celebrate the contributions that Rosa Parks made to the civil rights movement.

Rosa Parks became a nationally recognized symbol of dignity and strength in the struggle to end entrenched racial segregation. On Thursday, December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks helped initiate the civil rights movement in the United States when she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama bus.

A white man had no seat because all the seats in the designated “white” section were taken. The driver, James Fred Blake, told the riders in the four seats of the first row of the “colored” section to stand, in effect adding another row to the “white” section. The three others obeyed. Parks did not.

Two police officers approached the stopped bus, assessed the situation, and placed Rosa Parks in custody. On December 5, 1955, Parks was found guilty of violating segregation laws, given a suspended sentence, and fined $10 plus $4 in court costs.

Her actions inspired the leaders of the local African American community to organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which was led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The boycott lasted more than a year and Rosa Parks' courageous actions led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring segregation unconstitutional on public transit systems.

On June 5, 1956, a Montgomery federal court ruled that any law requiring racially segregated seating on buses violated the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In Rosa Parks' autobiography, she wrote, “People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”

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Writer, aspiring genealogist, and coffee lover covering the news in the SW Washington/PDX area.

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