TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The City of Tucson and Sun Tran are teaming up to help tackle human trafficking, thanks to a grant from the Federal Transit Administration.
On Thursday, the Downtown Ronstadt Center is busy with riders, but it’s places like this who Grace Tang, a survivor of trafficking, wants young women to be aware of human trafficking.
“I see it everywhere. I see it at the bus stops…at the local store,” said Tang.
A $221,000 dollar grant will educate bus drivers on signs of human trafficking and how to report it.
“It’s a breeding ground for pimps…what they go in there for is product,” said Tang.
The Tucson police department special crimes will work with Sun Tran to train workers and investigate on their reports. Materials like brochures and signs will also be pushed out to educate the public and riders about signs of trafficking. Cynthia Magallanes, another survivor, said this campaign is a great start, but intervening is only part of the equation—there needs to be more resources.
“We’re still having a deficit of services,” said Magallanes. “How are we able to help them?”
Sun Tran sent us a statement, saying in part “…with more public knowledge, we can help reduce incidents of human trafficking.”
Another part of this grant will be to aim at reducing the amount of assaults on bus drivers themselves with de-escalation training and improved security.
Tucson was one of 24 organizations across the nation to get these funds from the FTA. Sun Tran gives About 20 million rides every year in Tucson.