Public Transit Agencies Ring in the Festive Season!


Public transit agencies across the U.S. traditionally pull out all the stops to bring cheer and delight to passengers and their communities during the holidays, with specially decorated trains and buses. Here’s a look at just a few!

Chicago Transit Authority

The Allstate Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Holiday Fleet is now in its 32nd year of operation. The holiday train delivers joy and the holiday spirit to thousands of riders, but also serves to deliver food baskets to various charitable agencies throughout the city. Thousands of twinkling lights outline the shape of the train and windows, with even more lights running across the tops of the cars. Day or night, the commutes of thousands and the streets of Chicago’s neighborhoods are made merry with the Allstate CTA holiday bus. This 60-foot bus has been transformed by CTA employees into a winter wonderland to say “thank you” to customers and bring added cheer during the holiday season.

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority

Every December, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s (SEPTA) frontline maintenance and surface transportation employees volunteer their time to decorate FESTIBUS buses in a holiday style and to compete for bragging rights.

AC Transit, Oakland, CA, is running its specially wrapped holiday bus, offering free rides on different local lines throughout the East Bay. The tradition of a free-ride holiday bus began in 1963—just three years after AC Transit began service.

Decorated inside and out with twinkling red and green lights and with holiday tunes playing, special Metra trains will operate on most lines throughout the holiday season as a gift to its Chicagoland riders. The decorated trains will also be used for special holiday train rides with Santa and Mrs. Claus this December.

AC Transit

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority’s “Merry, Merry Metro Bus” is back for another season, spreading good tidings and cheer—and free rides—across Hamilton County. Two buses will circulate through Metro’s fixed routes with their cabins decorated for the holidays.

In Los Angeles, Metrolink’s holiday express train is offering an interactive, family-friendly experience. Eight holiday express trains all feature festive decorations, holiday-themed characters, carolers, and onboard and host-station activities for all ages.

Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority

Gold Coast Transit District (GCTD), Oxnard, CA, announces the eighth annual appearance of its holiday bus, which will be dashing through the streets all season long until Jan. 7. All rides on board this special bus are free. This year’s “Sea-Sun Greetings” holiday bus is a festive tribute to the coastline of Ventura County, with its exterior featuring colorful images of palm trees, waves, and adorable creatures. The bus’s interior is adorned with lights and ornaments, adding to the festive ambiance.

Metro Vancouver streets are a lot more festive with the return of TransLink’s nine reindeer buses. The buses also collect and deliver toys to families who need it as part of the Toys for Tots program.

Gold Coast Transit District