(WTOL) - A new program offering free transit for new and expecting mothers in Toledo has been funded.
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) made the announcement along with the Ohio Department of Transportation Monday that a $133,000 grant from the Federal Transit Administration will fund the "Mommy and Me Ride for Free" program on behalf for the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio.
The program will provide new and expecting mothers with free transportation using TARPS and TARTA transit systems, increasing many mother's access to healthcare.
It's something Congresswoman Kaptur says addresses an immediate need in the Toledo area.
"The costs of transportation can often be a primary barrier to accessing important health care visits for expecting moms and mothers with newborns, infants and young children. I am pleased the Hospital Council, the Toledo Area Regional Transportation Authority, and Toledo Area Regional Paratransit Service have sought a collaborative solution to address this need," said Kaptur.
In August 2016, Kaiser Health News, a leading health care journal, reported on a 2013 analysis of 25 studies which found that 10 to 51 percent of patients reported that lack of transportation is a barrier to health care access. One of those studies showed that 82 percent of those who kept their appointments had access to cars, while 58 percent of those who did not keep appointments had that access. Another study reported bus users were twice as likely to skip on appointments compared to car users.