Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is spearheading local awareness efforts on human trafficking during January’s National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The agency is part of a regional coalition of transportation entities working together to raise public awareness on how to recognize and report potential trafficking.
The coalition seeks to highlight the problem of human trafficking with informational materials such as brochures and posters in both Spanish and English on hundreds of buses and trains, and through the education and training of employees. DART vehicles are displaying some of the posters.
The current regional partnership includes DART, Greyhound, Amtrak, The Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA), The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T), Megabus, and various social agencies and legislative advocacy groups.
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It is estimated that more than 20 million men, women and children around the world are victims of human trafficking with the U.S. a source, transit and destination country. DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas has signed the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking Pledge committing DART to addressing this important issue.
The pledge holds DART to be an industry leader, provide training and education, help develop policy, raise awareness among the travelling public and provide information sharing and analysis.
DART started in 2014 with police officer, fare enforcement officer, and bus and rail operator training to spot potential indicators of human trafficking and how to report it. With training of frontline employees complete, DART’s headquarter employees are scheduled to begin in early 2015. Additionally, traveler awareness and employee training programs at various transportation partners will take place through the year.