The prenatal trip assistance study will address Columbus’s high infant mortality rates by connecting pregnant women without reliable transportation to dependable, timely and safe rides to doctors’ appointments and pharmacies. 

Prenatal Trip Assistance

The Goal

Understand how best to provide travel assistance to expectant women so lack of reliable transportation is no longer a barrier to receiving early and adequate prenatal care.

Central Ohio has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the nation, with lack of adequate prenatal medical care being a contributing factor. Often the barrier between expectant women and their doctors is as simple as reliable transportation. If a mom-to-be doesn’t have access to a car, she’s forced to rely on public transit or non-emergency medical transportation provided by Medicaid plans. Moms told us this can be time consuming or unreliable, leading to skipped doctors’ appointments before and after their baby is born. 

Based on input from new and expectant moms and an assessment performed by Sidewalk Labs, Smart Columbus identified improvements to existing transportation services. The Prenatal Trip Assistance study, called Rides4Baby, launched in May 2019 and is examining whether innovative mobility solutions can improve everyday transportation challenges for pregnant women living in eight at-risk areas served by Mayor Ginther’s infant mortality reduction initiative, CelebrateOne. Researchers will examine women’s satisfaction with transportation services that they receive during the study, and also assess whether a particular model of transportation delivery is associated with improved pregnancy outcomes and lower infant mortality.

Expectant women with Caresource or Molina Medicaid coverage and who need reliable transportation to the doctor should call StepOne, a pregnancy resource hotline for all women, at 614-721-0009 to see if they qualify for the study. 

 Partners on this project include The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Caresource, Molina Healthcare, StepOne, Physicians CareConnection, and CelebrateOne.

Shared Quality of Life Sustainability Department of Transportation Franklin