55 Years After Rosa Parks Refused To Give Up Her Seat, FTA Carries On Legacy to Ensure Equal Access for All

12/1/2010
Contact: Paul Griffo
(202) 366-4064

It has been 55 years since Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama. In the ensuing years, the Federal Transit Administration has worked not only to eliminate all discriminatory barriers on the nation’s public transit systems, but also to encourage members of minority and lower-income communities to participate in the public transportation planning process.

“In just a few decades, the FTA has helped to transform transit from a separate-but-equal enterprise in much of the country to an industry that strives to serve and be equally accessible to all,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Among FTA’s responsibilities is overseeing the implementation of civil rights laws and regulations in the nation’s transit agencies. These laws include Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. The FTA is leading efforts to continuously improve accessibility for the nation’s disabled transit riders.

“The FTA is proud to carry on the legacy of Rosa Parks every day as we ensure that all transit riders are treated with dignity and respect and have equal access to transit,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. “No one should ever be prevented from connecting with their families, meeting friends, or visiting their local downtown centers. FTA will continue to work diligently to safeguard the civil rights of all transit riders in every community, so they may benefit from the taxpayer investments being made in public transportation across the country today.”

In addition to making historically high levels of investment in accessible transit that will serve a record number of riders across all geographic, economic and ethnic lines, the FTA also:

The FTA annually provides approximately $10 billion in federal funding through grants for a variety of locally planned, constructed, and operated public transportation systems throughout the United States, including buses, subways, light rail, commuter rail, streetcars, monorail, passenger ferry boats, inclined railways, or people movers. The agency is also charged with ensuring that grant recipients are in compliance with federal laws and regulations.

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