Good afternoon, readers.
The following press release was just issued from DART:
D-Line Downtown Shuttle Will No Longer Service Capitol; Public Hearing Set
The D-Line Downtown Shuttle will cease to serve the Iowa Capitol Complex beginning Monday, March 14, due to the State of Iowa withdrawing its portion of the funding for the service.
The downtown shuttle will continue to operate on its east-west route on Grand Avenue and Locust Street between the Western Gateway and the East Village. Under the altered route, the trolley will no longer travel up and down the hill to and from the Capitol; it will instead turn around at East Sixth Street.
The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority has scheduled a public hearing in advance of the service change:
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursday, March 10
Iowa Capitol Building Room 116
The State of Iowa was one of the original partners in the public-private partnership that launched the downtown shuttle in 2008. The shuttle has averaged 16,000 rides monthly and more than 200,000 annually. Each legislative session, DART rerouted the D-Line to provide closer access to the Capitol.
Now, the Iowa House and Senate have passed a bill that would cut state funding for the D-Line, including funds previously committed to the service for the current fiscal year. Governor Terry Branstad is expected to sign the bill into law. In response, DART is moving quickly to cut the D-Line’s operating expenses proportionately, by way of shortening the route.
“We fought to keep the D-Line running to the Capitol, because providing an easy connection between downtown and the Capitol is of great value to businesses, employees and constituents who want to visit their elected representatives,” said Angela Connolly, Polk County Supervisor and Chair of the DART Commission. “So we deeply regret having to cut D-Line service to the Capitol.”
The other partners in the public-private partnership, including DART and the business community via Operation Downtown, have committed to the continued operation of the D-Line on the remaining portion of the route.
The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority is the public transportation provider that serves Polk County. DART operates a family of transportation services that makes getting around the Greater Des Moines area easier and more convenient. For more information about DART services, schedules, route changes, or directions to the nearest DART stop, visit our website at www.ridedart.com or call 515.283.8100.