March 18 is National Transit Employee Appreciation Day!


March 18 is National Transit Employee Appreciation Day and public transit agencies across North America are saluting their workforces!

Chicago’s three regional public transit agencies—the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra, and Pace Suburban Bus—are asking riders and the general public to join them in celebrating this special day.

“Regardless of whether you ride our buses or trains, everyone in Chicagoland is encouraged to take a moment to thank any of the thousands of transit employees who work on the front lines or behind the scenes to keep our region moving,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “Our transit system is an integral part of our city and region and recognized the world over, attracting and serving millions of riders while connecting them to their homes, businesses, and cultural destinations. We encourage everyone to share their appreciation with our transit workers by saying “thank you” and using hash tag #TEAD tag to express your appreciation for their hard work and dedication.”

“I encourage all Chicago area residents to express their thanks to the dedicated men and women who operate or support public transportation,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Jim Derwinski. “This is their day to be recognized for the key role they plan in Chicago’s transportation network and economy.”

“Celebrating Transit Employee Appreciation Day is more than just recognizing the hard work and dedication of our transit staff; it’s about honoring the backbone of our region’s economy and providing access for all,” said Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger. “Transit employees ensure that communities stay connected, businesses thrive, and individuals reach their destinations safely and reliably. Today, we express our gratitude for their role in keeping our region moving. We hope you will, too!”

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), GA, is encouraging customers to show their appreciation to bus and rail drivers by sharing a smile, kind gesture, or word of thanks, and snapping a photo with their driver to share on social media.

“MARTA operators are an integral part of the community, helping people get to their destinations while sharing a friendly smile or kind word,” said General Manager and CEO Collie Greenwood, a onetime bus driver himself. “Many operators do this job because they enjoy helping other people. I want to thank the thousands of MARTA employees who keep this region moving and extend a special gratitude to the frontline operators who remain the backbone of this transit agency.”

Of MARTA’s more than 4,000 employees, more than 60 percent are frontline employees. The agency is celebrating its drivers all week with notes of appreciation, catered meals, and specially designed pins to affix to their uniforms showing their “all-star” status. Images of drivers will be shared on digital signs throughout the system and on social media.

TransLink and BC Transit, New Westminster, BC, Canada, are teaming up to celebrate Transit Operator and Worker Appreciation Day.

“The passion and commitment from our employees to provide safe and reliable transportation to the public is a big reason why our customers trust our service,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn. “I want to thank every member of our transit family for everything they do every single day.”

The public is encouraged to participate by sharing their messages of gratitude on social media with the hashtag #ThanksTransit and tagging @TransLink and @BCTransit.

“The transit workers and partners we have across the province work hard to safely get people where they need to go and provide a key connection to the communities they serve,” said BC Transit President and CEO Erinn Pinkerton. “We encourage customers throughout the province to show their gratitude for our drivers and everyone that works in public transit, not just on March 18, but every day.”

Officially recognized by the Canadian Urban Transit Association in 2021, Transit Operator and Worker Appreciation Day originally started as Bus Driver Appreciation Day in 2009. March 18 was chosen for the annual celebration to commemorate the world’s first bus line, which began service on that day in 1662 in Paris.

San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) invites passengers to share photos and messages of appreciation on social media and to be on the lookout for employee recognitions around stations, including posters highlighting faces of employees. In addition, announcements recorded by special guests will be playing on station speakers.

“We can’t express enough gratitude to our employees, who are working hard every day to provide high-quality train service to our customers,” read a statement on the BART website. “In the last quarter, we have elevated our overall customer satisfaction rating to 81 percent, an increase of seven percent from the previous quarter. This is the first time since 2012 that our customer satisfaction rating has broken the 80s! We have our employees to thank for that.”

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA), OH, is honoring its employees on March 22. “We are fortunate to have some of the very best transit workers in our state keeping GCRTA moving forward,” said General Manager & CEO India L. Birdsong Terry. “Around the clock and in all kinds of weather, our transit workers operate complex routing schedules, repair heavy duty vehicles, provide stellar customer service, and ensure smooth operations here at GCRTA. I am continually appreciative of their hard work and dedication to our community.”

The agency appeals to its community to take a moment to extend a heartfelt “Thank You” to GCRTA drivers, ambassadors, custodial and maintenance crews, security, and administrative personnel, and anyone else that helps keep the systems going.