WeGo Public Transit staff, community members, and lawmakers joined the family of Elizabeth Duff for a renaming ceremony to officially commemorate the Elizabeth Duff Transit Center at WeGo Central. Duff was the first female and first African American female bus operator in Nashville when she was hired by the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (Nashville MTA) in April 1974. New signage and a rendering example of future historical displays were unveiled during the ceremony.
“Elizabeth was a pioneer, born and raised here in Nashville. To the Duff family, I am here to say ‘thank you’ for continuing this legacy. Her son, Seneca, is a bus operator at WeGo and here today,” Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell said.
“Elizabeth was strong, and she was a person who wasn’t confrontational. She always tried to avoid conflict on the bus. She drove at a time where there weren’t even restrooms for women drivers,” her husband Harry Duff, Sr. said.
The Metro Nashville City Council approved an ordinance in July 2022 to make the change. All Metro Council members co-sponsored the bill, an indication of the level of support for the ordinance. Duff died on February 13, 2021, at the age of 72.
“We are proud to rename WeGo Central in honor of Elizabeth Duff, who stood against the challenges of her time while making an incredible impact in our community,” said Nashville MTA Chair Gail Carr Williams.
“Our bus operators are the key to our service and Elizabeth exemplified excellence in her work. She was truly a transit trailblazer in Nashville,” WeGo CEO Steve Bland said. For more information about WeGo Public Transit, visit <WeGoTransit.com>.