Special Buses Commemorate Juneteenth


Public transit agencies around the country celebrated Juneteenth, June 19, commemorating the ending of slavery in the U.S., with special wrapped buses and community events.

The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS), WI, has unveiled a special Juneteenth wrapped bus, designed by TRUE Skool affiliates Adjua Nsoroma and Alex Solis. The bus honors the cultural significance of Juneteenth, commemorating the spirit of freedom, creativity, and community in Milwaukee County.

Today, I unveiled Milwaukee County’s first-ever Juneteenth bus alongside Milwaukee County Transit System and TRUE Skool, Inc.,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. “I am proud to share this transit asset on our roads as a reflection of the county’s commitment to celebrating Juneteenth and advancing our mission to achieve racial equity.”

For the first time this year, SamTrans, San Carlos, CA, wrapped a bus in honor of Juneteenth. The vibrantly wrapped bus, which was created by artist and SamTrans Transit Instructor Kalief Porter-Brown, is sponsored by the African American Employee Resource Group.

“It was a profound honor, and I was deeply excited for the opportunity to collaborate with the African American Employee Resource Group on designing the Juneteenth bus,” said Porter-Brown. “Seeing African American heritage represented through my artwork and witnessing it all come together was truly amazing. I want to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to making this moment so wonderful.”

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), Buffalo, NY, also unveiled its new Juneteenth bus, a mobile tribute to the significance of Juneteenth and the spirit of freedom.

“We are honored to introduce the Juneteenth bus as a symbol to our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Kim Minkel, NFTA executive director. “This bus isn’t just a mode of transportation, it’s a powerful statement of history and community. We hope it inspires conversations and education about this important celebration.”

In addition to its regular routes, the Juneteenth bus will be featured in various community events and parades throughout the year.

Employees from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and their families took part in the city’s Juneteenth Parade on June 8.

“The symbolism of Juneteenth as a day of remembrance and freedom is important given that liberty is a core principle of this nation,” said Domenica Henderson, member of the SFMTA Board of Directors.

Juneteenth celebrations in San Francisco date back to at least 1945. That year, Wesley Johnson Sr. rode a white horse through the Fillmore on June 19. Johnson was a black entrepreneur from Texas who owned a jazz club on Fillmore Street when the area was known as the Harlem of the West.

“Participating in the Juneteenth parade creates a legacy for my children and grandchildren,” said Utuma Belfrey, SFMTA assistant powerhouse operator. “It’s also a way we can hold on to our heritage. I’m honored to be a descendent of slaves and will continue to pass the tradition down.”

Equitable treatment is one of APTA’s core values—equal mobility and opportunity for all. Equal justice is an essential underpinning of that vision. APTA and the public transportation industry is dedicated to working to fight injustice and improve equality.

Learn about APTA’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, Racial Equity Action Plan, Racial Equity Commitment Pilot Program, and Kaleidoscope webinars, and access the APTA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources Hub here.