FORT WAYNE, Ind., Jan. 25, 2024 — Citilink, Fort Wayne’s public transportation provider, invites the community to the commemoration of the 111th birthday of civil rights activist Rosa Parks on Transit Equity Day with a special event at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 2 at the Forum at Electric Works, 1690 Broadway Bldg. 19, Ste. 10, Fort Wayne.
Rosa Parks, famously known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, played a significant part in ending legal segregation on public transportation systems in the United States. Her courageous act of refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Ala., bus sparked a wave of protests and ultimately led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling against segregation.
During the event, Citilink will unveil a bus wrapped in custom artwork inspired by Parks, created by Fort Wayne artist Theoplis Smith III, also known as Phresh Laundry. The public will have the opportunity to ride the bus, which will be in operation across the city for at least the next two years. Citilink also partnered with minority-owned business Sky High Graphix to print and install the bus wrap, also creating stickers of the artwork. In addition, Rosa Parks will be honored on every Citilink bus with a decal next to the seat where she remained steadfast.
The bus mural has been made possible by SEED, a Transit Trailblazer. SEED is dedicated to economic prosperity through equitable business growth and stable jobs for our community. As a Transit Trailblazer, SEED understands that Citilink’s service is a vital function of this prosperity.
“At the SEED we embrace the power of courage to challenge injustice and to build a world where equality knows no bounds. It is our honor to participate in Transit Equity and sponsor the new Rosa Parks Citilink bus wrap. We look forward to seeing the bus traveling our city streets, reminding us that the simple act of refusing to surrender one’s seat can lead to profound and lasting change,” said SEED Director Andrea Robinson.
Citilink recognizes the profound impact of public transportation in fostering an equitable environment within the community. In 2022, the organization made a Racial Equity pledge to the community.
John Metzinger, CEO of Citilink, expressed the organization’s dedication to promoting racial equity, stating, “Citilink understands the important role that public transportation brings to providing an equitable environment in our community. Transit Equity Day continues to raise awareness, increasing local advocacy for Citilink riders. We are excited to once again honor Rosa Parks and reaffirm our focus on Racial Equity.”
Citilink remains committed to providing safe, reliable, and inclusive transportation services to all residents of Greater Fort Wayne. Through initiatives like the Racial Equity pledge, events like the Transit Equity Day celebration, and free fare for Election Day, Citilink aims to foster a community that values diversity, equality and racial justice.
Citilink board member and Fort Wayne councilwoman, D-6th, Sharon Tucker, said she joined the board of directors at Citilink when her friend and colleague Glynn Hines approached her. “I am grateful to be a member of the board at Citilink and support initiatives like Transit Equity Day. I believe that inclusivity, accessibility and connectivity are the keys that unlock the doors to progress and prosperity for everyone,” said Tucker. “Strong and fair transportation systems are key to a vibrant, thriving community and Transit Equity Day provides an opportunity for our community to come together to recognize that.”
Additionally, the bus honoring Parks will be available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the YLNI Farmer’s Market at 1501 E. Berry St., Fort Wayne on Saturday, Feb. 3.
The public event will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 2 at the Forum at Electric Works, concluding by 10:30 a.m. Event attendees will have the opportunity to view, board and take a brief ride on the new bus wrapped in artwork inspired by Rosa Parks. For more information about Citilink and the Transit Equity Day event, please visit www.fwcitilink.com.
Citilink is the public transportation provider for Fort Wayne, Indiana, and the surrounding areas.
With a mission of linking people to life, Citilink operates a comprehensive network of bus routes,
serving thousands of passengers daily. Committed to providing safe, reliable, and accessible
transportation, Citilink plays a vital role in enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors
alike. To learn more information about Citilink, visit the website at www.fwcitilink.com.