The Health Impacts of Free Bus Passes on Young Men of Color in the International District and Westgate Neighborhoods in Albuquerque

Together for Brothers (T4B), an organization led by young men of color, in partnership with other community organizations (i.e. International District Healthy Communities Coalition, New Mexico Asian Family Center, and Juntos) will conduct an Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to assess the health impacts of the City of Albuquerque providing free bus passes for all young people in New Mexico, 8-18 years old. The Albuquerque City Council with input from public transportation, or ABQ RIDE, would ultimately decide awarding free bus passes for young people. Similar policies are currently being set up in Phoenix, Arizona and Denver, Colorado. The HIA will assess the connection between what free bus passes for young people would mean for increased access to: 1) educational opportunities, 2) employment opportunities, 3) recreational opportunities and 4) the promotion of healthy habits and the connection this has to emotional, mental and physical health outcomes. The population of focus is young men of color with an emphasis on refugees and immigrants, Native Americans, and young men of color with siblings 0-8. Many young people care for their younger sibling’s ages 0-8 or are parents themselves, meaning their mobility impacts their younger siblings’ or children’s health as well. The communities of focus include the International District (87108) and West Gate *87121) neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are Albuquerque’s most transit dependent neighborhoods with high concentrations of immigrant, refugee, and native youth. This HIA will provide intentional opportunities for young men of color ages 14-24 to strengthen their leadership, build community, engage in reciprocal mentoring, and collect data to inform decision making processes by disseminating surveys at community events.