This week’s meetings: Asking big questions about future of public transit

Good morning, Readers.

Your editor of The Bus Blog is incredibly excited for this week. DART staff and the DART forward 2035 planning consultants will be out meeting with riders and the general public, asking some pretty big questions about the future of public transit in Greater Des Moines:

What key destinations should DART serve?

Should the service focus on work trips or other types events such as social events and shopping?

If you had to choose between more frequent service or a larger area of service, which one would you pick?

Should the Des Moines region invest more or less in public transit?

If you care about the answers to any of these questions, please join in the discussion.

Fill out the online survey if you haven’t already: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DARTforward

And definitely come to at least one of the public meetings:

  • Des Moines Central Library, 1000 Grand Avenue
    • 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 5
    • 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 6
  • Urbandale Public Library, 3520 86th Street
    • 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 5
  • Ankeny City Hall, 410 West First Street
    • 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7

Your editor had the opportunity to meet with several members of the media last week to tell them about the planning study and its potential for bringing great change to the transit system as we know it today.

(Check out this piece on ABC 5 this weekend: http://www.myabc5.com/global/category.asp?c=190187&clipId=5718505&autostart=true)

One question that more than one reporter asked: What can meeting-goers expect at the public meetings this week?

This round of meetings will be about reviewing the research done by the consultants so far, and then imagining the possibilities. In other words, at this stage, the proverbial route map of the future is a blank slate.

We want to hear from the public before the consultants start “putting lines on the map.” Specific service recommendations will  drafted in time for this summer, when we’ll hold another round of public meetings to get feedback on those.

But for now, put on your planner’s cap and tell DART how you want public transit to develop over the next 25 years.

See you at the meetings!

— Gunnar Olson

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