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DDOT Rolls Out Rosa Parks Inspired Buses, Offering Free Rides

(CBS DETROIT) - The Detroit Pistons are teaming with the Detroit Department of Transportation to honor the life of a legend.

"It's Black History Month, it's Rosa Parks," said DDOT Executive Director Mikel Oglesby.

"I mean there's so much going on in the City of Detroit. You have Rosa Parks Boulevard. We have the Rosa Parks Transit Center. Rosa Parks lived in Detroit. Everybody's extremely proud and it's Rosa Parks' birthday."

Rosa Parks' contributions extend far beyond her hometown Detroit.

Her influence is felt around the world.

Parks played a vital role in the Civil Rights Movement.

In 1955, she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

In memory of her Feb. 4 birthday, Detroit Pistons and DDOT offered free rides Friday.

Passengers can also enjoy a complimentary pass Monday, Feb. 7.

"Partnership with the Pistons, the Knight Foundation, Priority Health and the Rosa Parks Estate allowed us to be able to provide free rides, all day today and because of the weather we even extended it to do it on Monday also.

In addition to the free rides, DDOT rolled out two new coaches, wrapped in Rosa Parks inspired artwork.

"Actually, when you see this bus I'm telling you it makes a statement," Ogelsby said.

"It has Rosa Parks on the side. She's on the back sort of modernized."

DDOT drivers were gifted pistons tickets for their dedication to serving Detroit passengers.

"You see the bus today, you get on the bus, you do not pay," Oglesby explained.

"It just shows that if we all work together during these tough times, we can put smiles on people's faces."

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