FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2018
Capital Area Transit Joins National Initiative to Combat Human Trafficking, Encourages Public to Recognize #WearBlueDay Today
Harrisburg, PA – Capital Area Transit (CAT) fully supports Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Leslie S. Richards’ announcement this week that the department has signed the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking pledge, and urges the public to take part in the national #WearBlueDay initiative on Thursday, January 11, the National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness.
In preparation for January National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, CAT initiated extensive training for all Bus Operators and employees to recognize the signs of human trafficking.
“Using PennDOT materials and guidelines, all CAT drivers and staff were trained in recognizing and assisting victims of Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Violence Against Women,” Robert Philbin, CAT spokesperson, said today.
CAT designated all its operating vehicles as “Big Blue Safe Places” for anyone seeking refuge from Human Trafficking. All a victim need do is flag down a Big Blue CAT bus and that person will be transported by a CAT Supervisor to a place of safety for further assistance.”
CAT formed an alliance with the Greater Harrisburg Area YWCA to transfer human trafficking victims to the Y for help. CAT featured an Ad campaign to raise public awareness against Human Trafficking, funded by the YWCA, which ran on CAT buses throughout the Fall.
“CAT joined this nationwide initiative to help continue to share resources and best practices in Pennsylvania in support of Secretary Richards’ initiative,” Philbin said. “CAT is committed to doing everything we can do to ‘put the brakes’ on Human Trafficking. So wear blue today to show solidarity against human trafficking, and if you need help, flag down for a Big Blue CAT bus.”
There are various resources and information sources for human trafficking available to the public, including:
- Blue Campaign (USDOT/USDHS Joint Initiative);
- Polaris (National human trafficking non-profit);
- Truckers Against Trafficking
- Villanova Law Institute Commercial Sexual Exploitation.
- PennDOT Human Trafficking Prevention
- Capital Area Transit safe buses program
Instances of human trafficking can also be reported to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at 1-866-347-2423.
Capital Area Transit was incorporated in 1973 when Cumberland County and Dauphin County Commissioners and the City of Harrisburg organized CAT to provide mass transit Fixed-Route and Paratransit shared-ride services, which today conveniently and safely transport about 2 million riders a year in the thousand square mile capital region.
Visit www.cattransit.com, follow CAT on Facebook or Twitter at @CATTransit, or call CAT’s Public Information Office at 717-238-8304 for more information. “Where CAT Goes, Community Grows.”