In commemoration of January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, bus industry leaders who are dedicated to the eradication of slavery and human trafficking reaffirm their commitment to promote awareness and make a difference in fighting this crime.
The American Bus Association (ABA), Coach USA, and Greyhound have been partnering with Busing on the Lookout (BOTL), a program of Truckers Against Trafficking, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign to educate and equip their drivers and networks with information on how to identify and report suspicions of human trafficking they may be seeing in the course of their everyday jobs. As a result, bus drivers and bus station employees throughout the United States have played a role in helping trafficking victims access services, reporting suspicions of trafficking to law enforcement, and supporting anti-trafficking investigations.
“The practice of human trafficking is a scourge in our country,” said Peter Pantuso, ABA president & CEO. “We are a proud partner of Truckers Against Trafficking and Busing on the Lookout as we work together to education our members and drivers on how to recognize human traffickers using motorcoaches. We have a great number of success stories where our companies have been able to help victims. We look froward to continuing this work together until this practice comes to an end.”
“Human Trafficking is a horrendous crime that ruins the lives of victims and their families forever,” said Linda Burtwistle, president & CEO of Coach USA. “We are proud to be one of the largest bus companies in the country and the first bus company with a national footprint to take part in the Busing on the Lookout training. Additionally, I was proud to serve as vice chairwoman for United States Department of Transportation Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking representing the bus industry and currently serve on the Truckers Against Trafficking Board. We are fully committed to make every effort to fight this national growing epidemic through education and training. Our Coach USA family is firmly committed to take a stand against human trafficking.”
“As the largest intercity bus transportation provider in the United States, we have committed ourselves to training our employees and implementing practices geared towards identifying and protecting victims of human trafficking,” said Bobby Quinten, director of Training and Development, Greyhound Lines, Inc. “Busing on the Lookout has been a critical program in helping our team members become aware of the signs of human trafficking and has helped empower them to take action, leading to many success stories across our company. As we continue our partnership with BOTL, January serves as a reminder of the work that must continue to be done to put an end to human trafficking.”
“The bus industry has a key role to play in helping to end human trafficking. As transportation professionals who are truly the eyes and ears of America’s roadways and communities, frontline employees are regularly coming into contact with victims of human trafficking and our goal is to make sure they know how to recognize and report it effectively,” said BOTL Director Annie Sovcik. “During the past three years, BOTL has provided anti-human trafficking training to over 115,000 bus industry personnel in the United States and we have seen the power of that knowledge as bus drivers and bus station employees have taken actions that have helped to recover victims and bring traffickers to justice. We welcome the continued commitment of the American Bus Association, Coach USA, Greyhound and many others in the industry as we continue this fight together.”
Please join BOTL for the following free online training opportunities in January:
"Safety and Awareness: Transit's Role in Combating Trafficking" Jan. 14 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET, hosted in partnership with the American Public Transportation Association. Register here.
“School Transportation’s Role in the Fight Against Trafficking,” Jan. 20 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET. Register here.
For more information on Busing on the Lookout, visit https://truckersagainsttrafficking.org/bus-training/.