The Estimated Deployment and Operations Costs of a Prenatal Trip Assistance System in Columbus, Ohio Totaled $1,283,337 for a 20-Month Demonstration Period.

The Smart Columbus Demonstration Program Reported Cost Components for a Prenatal Trip Assistance System with On-Demand Transportation Route Planning.

Made Public Date

From 2016 through 2021, the Smart Columbus Program demonstrated smart city concepts, comprised of eight transportation, mobility and data projects in Columbus, Ohio. These projects were aimed at improving access to jobs, enhancing tourism, stimulating the economy, connecting residents to safe and reliable transportation, and supporting efficient and sustainable movement of people and goods. The Prenatal Trip Assistance (PTA) project assessed non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) operations by Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) in an effort to decrease the premature birth and infant mortality rates in the region. The PTA project developed an expanded on-demand NEMT service for pregnant individuals to schedule rides using a website, a smartphone mobile application, or a call center. In addition, PTA provided car seats for on-demand transportation, allowing participants to avoid having to carry car seats to postpartum appointments. Following outreach activities, the developed PTA system was deployed in May 2019, during which data was continually collected to assess the performance of the system.

The total costs of the PTA deployment were $1,283,337, including the costs incurred by multiple vendors during both the deployment and demonstration operations phase:

  • The total deployment cost was $531,528, which covers from project start in 2017 to the beginning of participant recruitment at the end of May, 2019.
  • The total operations cost was $751,809 during the PTA demonstration, from June, 2019 to January, 2021.

PTA was a time-limited effort, and was not continued beyond the demonstration period of 20 months. Table 1 summarizes the breakdown of deployment and operations costs reported by the project team. It is important to note that the table does not fully include costs of providing the trip (driver and vehicle), as these costs were considered part of the MCO’s normal operating costs.

Table 1. PTA Deployment and Operational Costs. Source: City of Columbus

Cost Component






MCO / Technology






Study Lead



City Labor














System Cost

Deployment and Operations Cost for Prenatal Trip Assistance Demonstration for 20 Months: $1,283,337