PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – TriMet is offering free rides Friday to honor civil rights icon Rosa Parks. 

Rosa Parks died in 2005, but Feb. 4 was her birthday and is now known as Rosa Parks Transit Equity Day. The day was dedicated to the civil rights icon in 1976 by President Gerald Ford 

Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus to a white man in Montgomery, Ala. in 1955. A policy at the time required African Americans to sit in the back of the bus and designated the front of the bus for white people. When the seats were full in the “white” section and a white man was left without a seat, the bus driver asked Black people to give up their seats. Parks refused and her actions inspired local leaders of the Black community to organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The event was led by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

The boycott lasted more than a year and ended when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional. 

To honor Parks’ role in establishing a more equitable transit system, TriMet will not collect fares for rides on the bus, MAX, WES or Lift Friday. Portland Streetcar and C-TRAN are also offering free rides as an annual tribute to Rosa Parks.