Mountain Line Receives Grant to Combat Human Trafficking
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (February 4, 2020) – Mountain Line was one of 24 organizations across the country to receive grant funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Human Trafficking Awareness and Public Safety Initiative.
The grant funding is for projects to help prevent human trafficking and other crimes on public transportation. Mountain Line received more than $87,000 to conduct a human trafficking awareness and public safety campaign, procure an app that allows bus drivers and riders to report suspicious behavior, and provide transit passes for human trafficking survivors involved in workforce training programs.
Mountain Line will partner with Northland Family Help Center (NFHC) to leverage existing efforts of the Flagstaff Initiative Against Trafficking (FIAT), which currently provides trainings, conducts data collection, and supports anti-trafficking efforts with law enforcement.
Flagstaff’s proximity to major interstates and easy travel to and from several large cities makes it a prime spot for human trafficking, and public transit has been identified nationwide as one of the industries most susceptible to transporting victims. This partnership between Mountain Line and FIAT will bring new resources to the community to educate the general public and transit operators on how to identify and report suspicious behavior.
“Human trafficking and the public transit industry continue to have significant crossover and Flagstaff is not immune to these issues,” said Flagstaff City Councilmember and NAIPTA Board Chair Jamie Whelan. “The incredible work that Northland Family Help Center has already done in this arena combined with Mountain Line’s expertise and new funding will be an incredible resource for our community.”
“Human Trafficking has been identified as a pervasive issue in the Flagstaff area, as 297 adults and 40 youth reporting being victims of this horrific crime type since September of 2017,” said NFHC Director of Human Trafficking Services Kate Wyatt. “Northland Family Help Center and Flagstaff Initiative Against Trafficking believe that working with Mountain Line is vital to ending human trafficking in our area.”
Mountain Line is the transit agency in northern Arizona operating fixed route bus service on nine routes, paratransit service, vanpool, and seasonal Mountain Express service to Arizona Snowbowl.