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Ride for Pride with OC Transpo

Image - Ride for Pride with OC Transpo

It’s wrapped, on the road and ready to take passengers where they need to go.

Perhaps you’ve seen it drive by or maybe you’ve already been on board OC Transpo’s first Pride bus.

OC Transpo recently and proudly unveiled its freshly rainbow-wrapped Pride bus to promote diversity, equality, and social acceptance. It’s the first time OC Transpo has fully wrapped a bus in the recognizable rainbow colours. It also includes OC Pride’s motto “Love moves us”.

Ridership on O-Train Line 1 and Buses.

OC Transpo recently unveiled its Pride bus.

Click the image above for a closer look.

Creating an inclusive space

Philip, an instructor with OC Transpo’s Transit Training department, and Shaun, a Bus Operator, are the organizers of this year’s OC Pride celebration and say it helps create an inclusive environment that values different perspectives, experiences, and identities.

The celebration also aims to foster and create a more equitable and understanding society.

“This is a new era for OC Pride,” said Philip.

The week-long celebration started off with a Pride flag raising at OC Transpo headquarters and finishes off with the City’s Pride parade on August 27.

“OC Pride celebrations can be fun, they can also be difficult and stressful for some,” Philip said. “The 2SLGBTQ+ community has made many important and foundational impacts for inclusion and equality over the years, but many people still do not feel safe to publicly express themselves and may continue to live in fear. This is the true essence of Pride and the reason it is important to continue with these events.”

Playing a role

Philip and Shaun encourage those in leadership roles at OC Transpo to support OC Pride by offering a safe haven to those people who might be really stretching their comfort zone when participating.

Philip also fully understands for many in the 2SLGBTQ+ community it remains difficult to publicly identify as such because of the fear for their safety that still exists.

“A lot of people are like that simply because they are afraid what other people are going to think of them and losing people that they love,” Philip said.

Ridership on O-Train Line 1 and Buses.

Keep an eye out for OC Transpo’s new rainbow-wrapped Pride bus.

Click the image above for a closer look.

Over the years, OC Transpo has become an increasingly safe place for members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community that have historically faced ongoing harassment and bullying.

“I think one of the strong things that contribute to OC Transpo being a safe place is because people are aware that there are policies protecting them,” he said.

Sending a message

OC Pride hopes that the Pride bus not only sends a message of inclusivity, support and acceptance but can also be seen as a safe and welcoming place to travel for everyone.

Both Shaun and Philip are always looking for ways and ideas to improve how OC Pride celebrates diversity and inclusivity to ensure the 2SLGBTQ+ community feels safe and included.

There are encouraging signs that society is now witnessing generational change as he sees new and younger employees join OC Transpo.

“The new people coming in are actively engaged and that’s exciting, he said.

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