Human traffickers may rely on taxis for transportation, and taxi drivers may be the first person a victim meets once they are trafficked to a city. The potential for human trafficking can increase around special events, when the demand for taxi service is great. Included in this toolkit are templates for e-mail and text messages that can be sent by taxi services to its drivers to alert them about the warning signs of human trafficking. Both English- and Spanish-language versions are available.
Taxi drivers are in a unique position to identify and report human trafficking since traffickers may rely on taxis to move their victims. To help its drivers be alert about the danger of human trafficking, the Greater Houston Transportation Company, the parent company of Yellow Cab and Taxi Fiesta, has agreed to notify drivers by e-mail and text (in both English and Spanish) about human trafficking indicators.
The reach of this initiative is significant, since the company as a whole responds to 2 million calls for service annually, and all 1,500 taxi drivers receive these messages. In light of the role of large-scale events in increasing the potential for human trafficking, messages are also timed to be sent 5 days prior to each of Houston’s major events.
Drivers are encouraged to notify the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, whose number is included in messages, about suspicious activity. Training for drivers on human trafficking will be implemented, and taxis will also feature ads from the Watch for Traffick media campaign, with the Greater Houston Transportation Company covering printing costs and waiving sign space rental costs.
Messages include indicators that may help taxi drivers identify and report human traffickers and their victims.
- E-Mail (English) – PDF and Publisher
- E-Mail (Spanish) – PDF and Publisher
- Text (English and Spanish) – PDF and Word
- Coming Soon – Red Flag Training Video for Drivers
Guidelines for Responsible Use
Use the Taxi Industry Initiative Toolkit in a responsible fashion by following the below guidelines:
- We respectfully ask that you do not represent yourself as a City of Houston employee or member of the Houston Area Council on Human Trafficking when using the Toolkit’s information and resources.
- First build and foster a partnership with a taxi cab company in your area.
- Change the Houston-specific information provided to indicate to drivers where your city’s hotspots are for local prostitution.
- Add your organization’s logo.
- Be selective in timing when messages are sent to drivers. Consult your area’s venue calendars to identify key events around which messages should be sent. If the taxi cab company’s IT director can coordinate messages with event calendars, communicate key dates and events to your contact.
- Track the impact of your partnership. Notify the National Human Trafficking Resource Center’s national tip hotline of your partnership so that it can track any increase in calls from drivers in your area.