Skip Hydrick clears away the covering on a Tri-State Transportation Authority bus blazing with an OLBH advertisement for the Women's Center.

One of the new buses that soon will be used to provide service from Lawrence County, Ohio, to the Ashland area ought to be easy enough for folks to spot.

That’s because it’s pink.

Not entirely, mind you. But, that color is definitely the first thing about the vehicle that grabs the eye.

That particular hue was chosen to promote women’s health.

The Tri-State Transit Authority-Ohio bus, which will begin running next month, is sponsored by Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital’s Women’s Care Center. The vehicle was unveiled Monday in a brief ceremony that was part of the hospital’s monthlong observance of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The Women’s Center-themed bus is the first of four OLBH-sponsored vehicles that will join the TTA-Ohio fleet. TTA is a partnership between the Tri-State Transit Authority, the Lawrence County Port Authority and the Lawrence County Community Action Organization.

The four TTA-Ohio routes were announced in the spring and service began in July. However, officials were waiting for a rehabilitation project on the Ironton-Russell Bridge to be completed before beginning service from Ironton into Russell and Ashland, said Mike Payne, the port authority’s director of public transportation.

That route is scheduled to begin on Nov. 3, Payne said. Buses will depart Ironton at 7:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

OLBH will be the bus’ first stop after it crosses the bridge into Kentucky, Payne said. That linkage is important, he said, given the fact that the hospital has been a primary source of medical care for Ironton and Lawrence County residents since Lawrence County does not currently have its own hospital.

In addition to OLBH, the bus will make stops at Wal-Mart, Ashland Town Center, King’s Daughters Medical Center and the Ashland Depot before returning to Ironton.

OLBH’s Women’s Center opened in June. Jeani Thomas, director of nursing at OLBH, said she thought splashing its colors on the sides a bus would be an effective means of conveying to women the importance of early breast cancer detection.

“I can’t think of a better way to encourage yearly mammograms,” she said.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.

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