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RTA to provide free transit passes to new moms to reduce infant mortality

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 5:13 PM EST
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(Editor’s note: This story was originally published January 27, 2021 at 3:38 PM EST - Updated January 27 at 7:59 PM on cleveland19.com )

CLEVELAND, Ohio (Great Health Divide) - The Greater Cleveland RTA is trying to fight infant mortality in Cuyahoga County one bus ride at a time.

RTA will be offering free, monthly bus passes to new and expectant mothers so they can get to their medical appointments.

“Women are predominantly the riders, there are more females that ride transportation than men,” said Amy Snell from RTA. “So this is really important because a lot woman become mothers and a lot of them have to go to their medical appointments.”

Snell is the brains behind the “Baby on Board” program.

She says the Cuyahoga County Board of Health discovered a lot of new and pregnant moms were missing health care appointments due to transportation issues.

“We hope that by providing bus passes and making the waiting environment more safe that women will feel more comfortable taking the bus,” said Snell.

Women who live in zip codes area 44108, 44110 and 44112 are able to get the passes.

According to Snell, some babies in these areas do not make it to their first birthday.

“In one of these zip codes, they have found up to 28% of infant mortality which is one of the highest in the region,” said Snell.

RTA got $400,000 from the Ohio Department of Transportation to pilot this program for two years.

Snell says she’s hoping this program is around a lot longer than that.

Passes will be given out at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.

Great Health Divide is an initiative addressing health disparities in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia funded in part by the Google News Initiative.

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