Coaster train
A Coaster train heading north on the Del Mar bluffs. Photo by Chris Jennewein

To mark Rosa Parks’ birthday, the North County Transit District will join other public transportation agencies around the country in offering free rides on Feb. 4.

The free rides, on all NCTD buses and trains – COASTER, BREEZE, SPRINTER, FLEX and LIFT – will be for the entire day, as the district and various agencies recognize Feb. 4 as “Transit Equity Day.”

In 1955, Parks, 42, was riding home from work by bus when she refused to give up her seat to white riders and move to the back of the vehicle. Her actions helped invigorate the civil rights struggle.

“Commemorating Ms. Parks’ birthday by offering free rides highlights the need to ensure equitable access to public transportation,” said Matthew O. Tucker, NCTD’s executive director. “Decades after Ms. Parks’ bold decision, we must continue to advocate for accessible, reliable, and affordable public transportation for all.”

Transit Equity Day was first celebrated in select areas of the nation in 2018. This year will be the first year that NCTD will participate by offering free rides.

The free rides apply to NCTD only and does not include transfers to Metropolitan Transit System or AMTRAK Rail 2 Rail services.