Wednesday, the first seat of each GRTC Transit System bus was set aside as a tribute to [Rosa Parks] the woman who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955.
As part of Black History Month, each bus will also display a sign to honor Parks, who died in 2005.
The new downtown Regional Transit Bus depot will be named for Rosa Parks, the City Commission voted last Monday night.
“It will be a permanent legacy,” said the Rev. Milford Lewis Griner.
“It means that Gainesville has joined a number of cities across the country that have honored Ms. Parks.”
The bus transfer station at 700 SE 3rd St. opened last September to alleviate congestion caused by the busses at the previous transfer station in the Downtown Community Plaza.
Griner, who is the chairman of the Rosa Parks Quiet Courage Committee, said the name will be a great reminder to young people in Gainesville about the actions of Rosa Parks, a great civil rights icon.
He and Armando Grundy, who unsuccessfully ran for City Commission in January, suggested the renaming to Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan at the downtown celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Griner presented the idea on Monday to the commission and they approved it unanimously.
Griner’s committee holds an awards ceremony every December to honor the day in 1955 when Parks refused to leave her seat on the bus.
He intends for the event this year to serve as the official naming ceremony for the bus depot.