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L.A. Transit Agencies Celebrate National Get on Board Day

Metro CEO Phil Washington speaks at the Get on Board rally at Union Station this morning. Photo: Joe Linton

In most political and social movements, certain days end up carrying extra significance. The movement to create stronger neighborhoods through a cleaner and greener transportation network, increased housing options and healthier communities.

This year's calendar is a little different.

The alliterative Dump the Pump day has been, well, dumped in favor of Get on Board, a day to celebrate our nation's transit systems and encourage more people to leave their cars behind in favor of transit options.

Organized by the American Public Transit Association (APTA), National Get on Board Day is a new national awareness and advocacy day that is all about generating awareness of and increasing support for public transportation among riders and non-riders, elected officials, and stakeholders. Placed between Earth Day and Bike Month, local celebrations by Metro, Culver City Bus, Foothill Transit, Long Beach Transit and the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus.

Following on the heels of Earth Day earlier this week, no local agency was offering free rides or anything of the sort today.

Metro hosted a press event this morning showing off the new Get on Board TAP cards. Metro CEO Phil Washington rallied alongside Metro board members, and Torrance Transit's Kim Turner on behalf of the L.A. County Municipal Operators Association. Washington stressed working with the federal government to craft a long-term federal transportation bill, increasing the federal gas tax, infrastructure financing mechanisms, and transportation workforce development.

The Big Blue Bus and Culver City Bus are hosting a pop-up event where they are handing out TAP Cards and other schwag at their bus stops. Others agencies are adopting graphics or the Get on Board hashtag in their social media. Mercifully, I have yet to see anyone post the Buzz Feed "What Two Types of Transit Match Your Personality" quiz on their feed, but the day is young.

I got "bus and scooter" in case you were interested.

Voices for Public Transit, a campaign of transit riders managed by APTA, the day to encourage members to reach out to elected officials to encourage them to support public transit. The messages were not designed to push a particular project or anything to controversial, just a simple " I write as a constituent encouraging you to support an increase in public transportation funding to improve our nation, strengthen our communities, and create economic dividends for Americans. #GetOnBoard."

If you want to get involved in #GetOnBoard, there is still plenty of time until the day ends. Below are a couple of graphics put together by APTA to spruce up your social media feed.

For a full sized copy of the graphic, click the image.
For a full sized copy of the graphic, click the image.
For a full sized copy of the graphic, click the image.

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