Press Release: Wisconsin commemorates Rosa Parks’ birthday with Transit Equity Day

Press conference and proclamations uplift the importance of public transit for racial equity, access and the environment.

Governor Evers and several mayors in Wisconsin (including Madison, Eau Claire, La Crosse, Oshkosh, and Appleton, Neenah, Menasha) have proclaimed February 4, 2022 Transit Equity Day to commemorate Rosa Parks’ birthday. This event featured elected officials and transit advocates who connected this national event, Parks’ act of resistance, and the right for all to high-quality, accessible public transportation. This event was coordinated by the Coalition for More Responsible Transportation (CMRT). Event organizers include 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Environment, Chippewa Valley Transit Alliance, and La Crosse Area Transit Advocates. Nationally, Transit Equity Day is coordinated by the Labor Network for Sustainability.

Organizers and participants in Transit Equity Day issued the following statements: 

“Equity in public transit is a top priority for the City of Madison,” said Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin. “We know that Metro Transit is a critical transportation resource for low income and BIPOC communities, and yet those communities are not always well-served by transit in Madison. That’s why the City is investing in Bus Rapid Transit, which will shorten travel times across our city, and a Metro Network Redesign, which will increase access to employment and amenities, especially for low income and BIPOC folks. As we mark Transit Equity Day, we must acknowledge historic discrimination and current inequities, and push for a better, more equitable future.”  

“Rosa Parks left a remarkable legacy, one that we still recognize to this day,” said Senator Jeff Smith, Senate District 31 (D – Brunswick). “I’m honored to have introduced a statewide resolution to designate February 4th as Transit Equity Day to celebrate her life, remember her activism and show our commitment to accessible public transit.”  

“We are very excited to see leaders across Wisconsin recognize Rosa Parks’ birthday as Transit Equity Day,” said Gregg May, Transportation Policy Director at 1000 Friends of Wisconsin. “Proclamations from Governor Evers and mayors across the state show that an affordable and efficient public transit system remains a major priority for residents of Wisconsin.”

“On this Transit Equity Day we applaud all of the local and state leaders who are advocating for investments in high quality public transportation across Wisconsin,” said Megan Severson, State Director for Wisconsin Environment. “By prioritizing public transit, we can ensure that the transportation system we pass on to our children is clean, resilient, equitable and accessible to all Wisconsinites.”

“The Eau Claire area is proud to collaborate with many different members of our community as we recognize and celebrate the importance of providing Transit Equity on Rosa Parks birthday of Feb. 4th and all year long as well,” said Phil Swanhorst, ATU – Local 1310 and a member of the Chippewa Valley Transit Alliance. 

“Good public transit ensures access to all of life regardless of age, color, income, or ability, ”said Cathy Van Maren, La Crosse Area Transit Advocates. “We honor Rosa Parks by working to make sure everyone has that access and that it’s affordable, convenient, safe, and sustainable.”

Media contact: Gregg May, 1000 Friends of WI – Transportation Policy Director, 402-707-7379,


Proclamation from Governor Evers naming Feb 4th, Transit Equity Day. 'r4'5-fBl(P..JLS; Transit Equity Day is a national day of action that is held every year on February 4 to commemorate the birthday of the iconic civil rights leader, Rosa Parks, tying her efforts to integrate public transportation systems in the 1950s to the belief that all people should have the right to transit mobility and oday, the state of Wisconsin affirms that public transit is an essential service and that all people-regardless of race, ability, age, income status, or identity-have the right to transit mobility and transit accessibility.
Governor’s Proclamation naming February 4th, 2022 as Transit Equity Day.