Flagstaff, Tucson Receive Funds To Combat Human Trafficking
Transit agencies in Flagstaff and Tucson were among two dozen organizations across the country to receive federal funds to combat human trafficking.
Mountain Line transit in Flagstaff received $87,000 to train its bus drivers on how to spot, report and de-escalate human trafficking.
Mountain Line CEO Erika Mazza said the agency plans to create a training video that it can share with Greyhound and others. In the last two years, Flagstaff has identified about 300 adults and 40 youth as victims of human trafficking.
“Because we are on such major interstate corridors coming out of LA, out of Vegas, north of Phoenix,” Mazza said. "Our bus operators see so many thousands and thousands of people a day — and we board over 2.5 million people a year — that they need to be educated.”
Mazza said the agency, along with Northland Family Help, plans to provide bus passes for trafficking survivors, create an awareness campaign, and develop an app that allows bus drivers and riders to report suspicious behavior.