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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Human Trafficking Awareness and Public Safety Initiative

What's New

On January 28, 2020, Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced $5.4 million in grant selections as part of FTA's Human Trafficking Awareness and Public Safety Initiative at an event at U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters. Twenty-four organizations will receive funding for projects to help prevent human trafficking and other crimes on public transportation. 

In February 2020, FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams sent a letter to transit agency leaders to build awareness in the fight against human trafficking and increase support of the “100 Pledges in 100 Days” campaign.


Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery, with nearly 25 million victims worldwide, including in the United States. Traffickers use all modes of transportation to conduct their activities and often use public transit because it is low cost, offers greater anonymity in buying fare cards, and provides less direct interaction with government or transit officials.

FTA’s Human Trafficking Awareness and Public Safety Initiative is a public safety initiative that supports the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking initiative through transit-focused industry engagement, education, public awareness and outreach, and research and technical assistance to combat human trafficking in transit.  In addition, the program supports FTA’s operator assault and crime prevention efforts. The initiative aims to maximize the transit industry’s collective impact to address human trafficking and other public safety concerns.


Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT

Fiscal Year 2019 Innovations in Transit Public Safety Project Selections

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration

ACTION: Innovations in Transit Public Safety Grant Announcement of Project Selections and Implementation Guidance

DATE OF APPROVAL: January 28, 2020

SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the selection of projects for the Innovations in Transit Public Safety grants and provides administrative guidance on project implementation.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Successful applicants should contact the appropriate FTA Regional Office for information regarding applying for the funds or program- specific information. A list of Regional Offices can be found at

Unsuccessful applicants may contact Dharm Guruswamy, FTA Office of Transit Safety and Oversight, at (202) 366-2528, email: to arrange a proposal debriefing within 30 days of this announcement. A TDD is available at 1-800-877-8339 (TDD/FIRS).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:  The Innovations in Transit Public Safety projects are funded through the Public Transportation Innovation Program (49 U.S.C. §5312), with the goal of developing innovative projects that assist transit agencies with identifying and adopting specific measures to address public safety in transit systems, including crime prevention, human trafficking, and operator assault.  On March 29, 2019, FTA published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) (84 FR 12021) announcing the availability of $2 million in competitive funding for the Innovations in Transit Public Safety projects.  Funds cannot be used to reimburse projects for otherwise eligible expenses incurred prior to date of project award announcements.

In response to the NOFO, FTA received 36 eligible proposals from 19 states and the District of Columbia, requesting approximately $7.26 million in Federal funds. Project proposals were evaluated based on each applicant’s response to the evaluation criteria outlined in the NOFO. FTA is funding 21 projects, as shown in Table 1, from $1.36 million authorized for FY 2019 allocations and $2 million from prior year authorizations, for a total of $3.36 million.

Recipients selected for competitive funding should work with their FTA Regional Office to submit a grant application in FTA’s Transit Award Management System (TrAMS) for the projects identified in Table One of this document. Grant applications must only include eligible activities applied for in the original project application. Fund usage must be consistent with the competitive proposal and for the eligible purposes established in the NOFO and described in FTA Circular 5010.1E and FTA Circular 6100.1E.

In cases where the allocation amount is less than the proposer’s total requested amount, recipients are required to fund the scalable project option as described in the application. If the award amount does not correspond to the scalable option, for example due to a cap on the award amount, the recipient should work with the Regional Office to reduce scope or scale the project such that a complete phase or project is accomplished. Program requirements such as cost sharing or local match can be found in the NOFO.

A discretionary project identification number has been assigned to each project for tracking purposes and must be used in the TrAMS application. Selected projects are eligible to incur costs under pre-award authority no earlier than the date projects were publicly announced (January 28, 2020). Pre-award authority does not guarantee that project expenses incurred prior to the award of a grant will be eligible for reimbursement, as eligibility for reimbursement is contingent upon other requirements, such as planning and environmental requirements having been met. For more about FTA’s policy on pre-award authority, please see the FTA Fiscal Year 2019 Apportionments and Program Information (84 FR 31984, July 3, 2019). Post-award reporting requirements include submission of the Federal Financial Report and Milestone Progress Reports in TrAMS as appropriate (see FTA Circular 5010.1E and FTA Circular 6100.1E). Recipients must comply with all applicable Federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, FTA circulars, and other Federal requirements in carrying out the project supported by the FTA grant. FTA emphasizes that recipients must follow all third-party procurement requirements as authorized by Federal public transportation law (49 U.S.C. § 5325(a)) and described in the FTA Third Party Contracting Guidance Circular (FTA Circular 4220.1F).   Funds are available for the year of allocation plus 2 years. Accordingly, funds allocated in this announcement must be obligated in a grant by September 30, 2022.

Click on a header to sort by that column.
State Recipient Project Description Allocations
AZ Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority Develop and implement comprehensive program, to include training and community awareness campaign, to combat human trafficking. $87,612.00
AZ City of Tucson Develop and implement a human trafficking awareness campaign and provide operator assault prevention training $221,100.00
CA Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority Develop and implement Not on Transit (NoT) campaign to combat human trafficking $350,000.00
CA SunLine Transit Agency Develop and implement a public service outreach campaign: human trafficking $37,320.00
DC Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Metrorail station pilot- test three different methods of reducing crime and improving public safety. $176,000.00
FL Hillsborough Transit Authority Develop and implement Super Bowl 2021 campaign for human trafficking awareness. $100,240.00
FL Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority Provide training and develop an internal and external awareness campaign to combat human trafficking. $43,630.00
GA Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Installation of communications equipment on buses to allow live remote monitoring of cameras on buses for enhanced safety. $352,000.00
MI Capital Area Transportation Authority The implementation of a public reporting application to enhance safety and security, and the implementation of a public education campaign to increase human trafficking awareness. $75,000.00
MO Bi-State Development Agency Train front line personnel on human trafficking, de-escalation and trauma-informed training $187,500.00
NC City of Greensboro Develop and implement an app that makes it possible for passengers to report security issues $34,400.00
NC North Carolina Department of Transportation Develop and implement a statewide educational and training program aimed at both the riding public and public transit agencies to raise awareness about human trafficking $120,000.00
NV Reg, Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada Develop and implement a campaign to address crime prevention, human trafficking and operator assault. $160,000.00
OH Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority Develop and implement human trafficking awareness campaign and increase staffing for human trafficking law enforcement. $474,232.00
OK Grand Gateway EDA Pelivan Transit Crime prevention and public safety rolling classroom for statewide training $350,475.00
OR Tri- County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon TriMet operator safety and rider awareness campaign $151,052.00
SC Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority Public safety awareness marketing and public outreach campaign and provision of public safety officers on transit vehicles $151,776.00
SC Greenville Transit Authority Develop and deliver the Eliminating the Blind Spots on Human Trafficking Campaign $20,936.65
SD West River Transit Authority, Inc. Develop and deliver training and awareness campaign against human trafficking $60,000.00
TX Dallas Area Rapid Transit Develop and implement a multi-faceted training and awareness campaign against human trafficking in coordination with other Texas transit agencies $49,600.00
TX Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County Reduce operator assault prevention through on vehicle monitors that project camera views $160,000.00


U.S. DOT Campaigns

U.S. DOT combats human trafficking by working with public and private sector stakeholders to empower transportation employees and the traveling public to recognize and report possible instances of human trafficking.  

DOT's Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking (TLAHT) initiative was formed in 2012 for transportation and travel industry stakeholders to maximize the transportation industry collective impact on human trafficking.  TLAHT’s focus areas are leadership, training and education, policy development, public awareness, and information sharing and analysis.  Partners take action to combat human trafficking by issuing leadership statements, signing pledges, developing reporting protocols, training their employees, and conducting public awareness campaigns.