Traffick Stop: Shared rides and sex trafficking

Sherri Jefferson is an advocate, author, and an attorney. Transforming the lives of children is her passion. Transferring knowledge is her profession.

After a busy flight, you rush through the Atlanta  Hartsfield-Jackson Airport toward ground transportation. Lost, you ask for directions to the escalator to meet your shared ride driver.
Greeted by a text, your app says that the driver is nine minutes away.
Finally, you see the vehicle approaching. You check your app to verify your driver’s license plate and look for the shared ride amp on his vehicle.
Greeted by your first name, you hop in the car and off to an Atlanta hotel. Two other people are in the car.
The driver welcomes you to Atlanta. Then, he asks you a series of questions: Are you here on business or pleasure? What is your profession? What type of music do you want to listen to during your drive? How often do you visit Atlanta? Are you meeting anyone else in Atlanta? How long is your stay?
Then, the driver gets more personal regarding your travel habits. He takes an interest in what you do leisurely. Next, you are answering questions about whether you need someone to help you find your way around Atlanta to enjoy the night life.
The driver hands you his business card. He offers to pick you up at the hotel at a later time or to introduce you to a friend to fill your leisure time.
Upon arrival at the hotel, you jump out and remind the driver that you will take him up on his offer. You ask him to wait to give you time to check-in, get showered, and change clothing. He agrees.
Remember, the two other people in the car. Well, they are two attractive young girls. They are not passengers of the shared ride service. Instead, these girls are victims of sex trafficking who are lured to solicit sex from travelers.
Whether you use the term car pool, ride matching, ride share, car share, or share the ride, it all amounts to the same outcomes.
The shared ride is the new Backpage.com and Craigslist. The purchasers soliciting or seeking sex for a fee (aka Johns) are plentiful. The demand is so high that it is impossible to fill the request.
Escort, someone to help you find your way around Atlanta, the outcome is the same – it is sex for sale – prostitution. Only, the young women and girls are lured to participate in the shared ride scam.
The driver is a pimp. No longer are the John’ required to search the websites. They simply use shared ride services at airports, hotels, conference centers, sporting and private events, etc. The drivers either bring girls with them or they send them to the hotel.
Some men are ‘serviced’ en route to their destination. Some of the victims are purchased for the duration of the travel. Others come and go.

Disclaimer: I shared this information with the leading shared ride company and provided suggestions for immediate corrective action. The public must do the same to protect our young women and children. 

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