The prenatal trip assistance study will address Columbus’s high infant mortality rates by connecting pregnant individuals without reliable transportation to dependable, timely and safe rides to doctors’ appointments and pharmacies.
Understand how best to provide travel assistance to expectant individuals 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 pregnant individuals and their doctors is as simple as reliable transportation. If an expectant person doesn’t have access to a car, they’re forced to rely on public transit or non-emergency medical transportation provided by Medicaid plans. This can be time consuming or unreliable, leading to skipped doctors’ appointments before and after a baby is born.
Based on input from new and expectant individuals 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 examined whether innovative mobility solutions can improve everyday transportation challenges for pregnant individuals living in eight at-risk areas served by Mayor Ginther’s infant mortality reduction initiative, CelebrateOne. Researchers will continue to examine participants’ 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.