By Daryl Wendle
February 4 is the birthday of Rosa Parks, whose life will forever link the Civil Rights movement and public transit. Starting with a courageous act of choosing where to sit on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, she changed the world. Her fight against discrimination and racism has made her an icon in the battle for freedom and equality for all people.
Many of our transit clients and the communities they serve celebrate February 4 not just for its historic significance to the Civil Rights movement, but as a symbol of the commitment to provide transit service that is fair, accessible, and equal for all persons.
Parametrix shares that commitment to transit equity. We have a long history of projects that improve mobility for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities. Some of these projects include King County Metro’s RapidRide R Line, Sound Transit’s Central Link and Tacoma Dome Link, and TriMet’s and Oregon Metro’s Southwest Corridor. These projects exemplify an increasing emphasis on community involvement in decision-making and address concerns around displacement through gentrification or higher fares for premium service.
With each new project and in each community, we continuously strive to improve how we address transportation equity and racial disparities through our work. The COVID-19 pandemic and recent national movements recognizing the expanded importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and encourage our clients and Parametrix to rethink projects, plans, services, and workforces. Parametrix is committed to meeting the challenge.