VIA restores Dreamliner bus that honors the legacy of Rosa Parks

Bus will make its public debut at Monday’s MLK March

VIA Metropolitan Transit has restored its vintage 1966 Dreamliner bus. (VIA Metropolitan Transit)

SAN ANTONIO – VIA Metropolitan Transit will unveil its newly restored Dreamliner bus at Monday’s MLK March.

The 1966 Dreamliner had its engine overhauled, the seats reupholstered, body shop work, a window replaced and a fresh coat of paint last year.

VIA’s Fleet & Facility Maintenance Department custom designed and built some specially designed parts to fit the bus because replacement parts were no longer available.

VIA Metropolitan Transit has restored its vintage 1966 Dreamliner bus. (VIA Metropolitan Transit)

The Dreamliner was VIA’s signature vehicle in the 1960s and 1970s and has become an icon of the Civil Rights movement, so it’s fitting that it will make its public debut at the march that honors civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1955, Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, led in part by King. The movement helped bring about the desegregation of public spaces, including public transportation. VIA honors her legacy with a special Rosa Parks seat on every bus.

In 1987, Parks attended San Antonio MLK March and rode on a 1950s vintage VIA bus.

In 2018 and 2019, groups of Freedom Riders participated in San Antonio’s march.

This year, march attendees will be able to tour the “rolling museum,” take photos and learn more about the role that public transit played in the Civil Rights movement.

VIA is also providing free public transportation to and from the march.

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About the Author:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.