The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded the Hillsborough County Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) with a Human Trafficking Awareness & Public Safety Initiative Grant totaling $100,240, according to a news release.
The grant will be used to conduct a public awareness campaign about human trafficking leading up to Super Bowl LV, in Tampa in 2021.
Human trafficking is a modern-day slavery, affecting millions of adults and children in the United States and across the globe.
Traffickers move their victims on all modes of transportation, and sometimes use public transit due to its low cost, greater anonymity in buying fare cards, and less direct interaction with government or transit officials.
“Human trafficking is an unfortunate reality of society today,” said Carolyn House Stewart, interim HART CEO, in the release.
“HART looks forward to utilizing this grant to train our employees, many of whom interact with hundreds of people daily, to help recognize the signs of human trafficking and create more awareness about the issue,” she added.
The campaign will include educational materials for the public, and provide critical training for HART employees in recognizing and reporting human trafficking.
The FTA’s Human Trafficking Awareness and Public Safety Initiative involves $5.4 million in grants.
Published February 26, 2020