Bus Rapid Transit Update

It’s been a while since we’ve given you an update on DART’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. We have some breaking news to share that will affect the timing of project.

As you may recall, DART is planning to apply for a $20 million dollar federal grant for the capital improvements associated with the Ingersoll/University proposed BRT route. As part of our requirements for that application, DART needs to find a $5 million local match. There was a possibility of receiving $2 million in local match from the state legislature.

In budget negotiations this past weekend, that funding was removed from the budget and there’s no longer any reasonable hope for its restoration, at least not this year.

So far, between the City of Des Moines, Polk County, Nationwide and several other companies, DART had already raised about 30% of the total. The money from the State of Iowa would have got us to our goal more quickly.

The project is not dead, just delayed. DART still has plenty of support for the project and BRT is still a goal for us. And in the meantime, we have a lot of groundwork to lay and documentation to gather for the FTA Very Small Starts grant application. So we’re still marching in that direction, we just won’t be able to file the grant as soon as we thought.

The DART Commission is still supportive of the idea and we’ll redouble our efforts to raise the local match. It’s a great project with a ton of benefits for the citizens of Des Moines and employers to boot. So, stay tuned and we will let you know what happens. Or, follow the local coverage in the news for the most recent updates. Here’s a recent blog post in the Register.

Thanks to all of you DART supporters out there who came to public meetings to support the idea. We’re still committed to making Bus Rapid Transit a reality in Greater Des Moines.

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5 thoughts on “Bus Rapid Transit Update

  1. on behalf of the many riders of the Dart system the new routes and pick up points are a big disappointment. I have riden the bus now for 7 years. I ride 98 express from Ankeny. The times do not accomidate people who get off in the afternoon on the hour and the half hour. The new pickup locations do not have anywhere to get out of the weather and it seems that we drive aimlessly through the downtown area. Who were these changes supposed to accomidate cause it is not the riders. As of yesterday the articulated bus could not use the air conditioning and it is supposed to be in the high 90’s this week. Are there any changes in sight as we are begining to form car pools?

  2. DART bus service is a freaking joke, you guys need to focus on making what you already have work before you go begging for any more money. Route #7 Bus drivers are constantly wasting time chatting with other drives downtown when they’re 5 minutes late to begin with.

    No coffee or drinks allowed by normal passengers, yet homeless are allowed to haul on entire bags full of scummy empty cans? Weekend service is absolutely abysmal with it only lasting until 5:00 pm and one trip per hour, and you guys flat out shut down today on the 4th of July, as if none of your riders might need to work or get around town today.

    Also, good luck if you work 3rd shift on the west side of town (or anywhere else for that matter) because all the routes are pretty much shutdown after 10:30 pm.

    Like the poster before me, I’m really starting to look at alternatives to DART, including relocating, your lack of service really is frustrating.

  3. this new bus routes are crazy. why on earth did you take out bus 8 south union. south union is a main road on the south side and this is a huge inconvience. i know several students, one being my own, who now have to walk 15 to 20 minutes to get to their bus stops. and it is almost december. what is this? the new bus routes are NOT convienent at all.

  4. and the times are all jacked up now to. we used to have one of the simplist bus routes i have ever seen. which was a good thing now. now you have to have a note with everything written down so you dont forget

  5. to bad there wasnt another bus company to give you some competition and to make it simple again

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