Another New Shelter

Check out the new shelter on Route 16 located at the intersection of Douglas Avenue & 50th Street. photo 2

This is the third new shelter to go up in the Des Moines metro area since last October. The next shelter scheduled to be installed is also on Douglas Avenue, near the VA Hospital. Have a suggestion for a bus stop that could use a shelter? Please leave a reply below.

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June Schedule Changes

Starting this Sunday, June 8, 2014, schedule adjustments on the routes listed below will be implemented to better serve DART customers. Click routes to view new schedules.

Route 4       Route 6       Route 13       Route 16       Route 91       Route 95

New print schedules are available on buses now.DSCN6413

The next scheduled service change is Sunday, August 17, 2014.

Bike & Ride Twitter Photo Contest

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Entering the contest is easy:

  1. Tweet a photo of your Bike & Ride May 12–31, 2014, and include the hashtag #mydartride.
  2. Follow @ridedart.
  3. Cross your fingers!

You may enter as many times as you would like during the sweepstakes period. Winners will be selected at random and notified via Twitter direct message.

Prizes

Grand Prize (1)

  • 1-year secure bike storage at DART Central Station
  • June Express Plus bus pass
  • DART swag

Runner Ups (2)

  • June Express Plus bus pass
  • DART swag

For complete contest rules, please click here.

Bike to Work Week

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May is National Bike Month, and DART is celebrating with Bike to Work Week. Board with a bike May 12-16, 2014, and you’ll ride free.

Bike racks are available on all DART buses. Riders are responsible for loading, securing and removing their bikes from the racks.

Putting Bikes on the Bus Rack

  • Ensure the bus is completely stopped before stepping in front of the bus.
  • If the rack is in the upright position, squeeze the release handle on the top and lower the rack.
  • Lift your bike into the wheel slots. If there is already a bike on the rack, load yours in the opposite direction in the remaining slot.
  • When your bike is loaded, lift the support arm up and over the front bike tire as close to the bike frame as possible.

Removing Bikes from the Bus Rack

  • Exit the bus through the front door, letting the operator know you will be unloading your bike.
  • Lift the support arm from the bike’s front tire and take it out of the rack.
  • If the rack is empty, raise the rack up against the bus.

For complete instructions on how to load and unload your bike, click here.

For more information about DART services or this promotion, please call Customer Service at 515-283-8100 or email dart@ridedart.com.

Way Back Wednesday 3/12

Over 75 years ago, the Des Moines Railway Company held a contest to name the new “trackless trolleys” that were coming to the city. These new trolleys would be powered by overhead electric cables, but would feature rubber wheels and no longer need to run on tracks in the street.contest
The winning name “Curbliner” was selected by the judges after they had combed through all of the entries. The name Curbliner was actually submitted by several contestants, so a required 50 word essay guided the final decision of the judges to award the $500 first place prize.contest winners.

Today, DART pays homage to these trackless trolleys of the past in the form of a conference room at DART Central Station dubbed the “Curbliner Room”.

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Public transit use on the rise in Greater Des Moines

Increases follow investments in DART Central Station, DART Forward 2035 Plan

Use of public transit is on the rise in Greater Des Moines, DART ridership data shows. DART’s ridership increased more than 7 percent in the first six months of fiscal year 2014, compared to the same period of fiscal year 2013. Ridership totaled 347,213 in December – a 15 percent increase over December 2012.

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Ridership figures for the month of December are especially significant, because December is the first reporting period for which year-over-year comparisons can be made on all of DART’s individual routes after the network redesign of 2012. (A list of the fastest growing routes is included below.)

“The region’s investment in public transit is paying off,” said Steve Van Oort, Polk County Supervisor and Chair of the DART Commission. “People told us they would ride DART more often if the bus went more places, more frequently, with faster travel times – and that’s what we’re seeing happen in the numbers.”

The ridership gains follow significant investments into the region’s public transit system:

  • The $21 million DART Central Station opened in November 2012 in downtown Des Moines, providing riders with a much-improved experience over the former Walnut Street Transit Mall;
  • A redesigned and expanded network of bus routes was implemented in June and November of 2012 as part of the DART Forward 2035 Plan;
  • Service improvements, including frequency additions, a new route and  later hours, were made in August 2013;
  • Technology enhancements such as the MyDART Trip Planner BETA were launched in October 2013, making it easier for people to plan their trips on transit. People can now also search for transit directions using Google Maps and Bing Maps.

Additional improvements will be made in the coming year as part of the DART Forward 2035 Plan. Real-time bus location information will become available later in 2014. A new fare collection system with smart cards will be added in late 2015.

DART promoted the improved routes in October 2013 during Try Transit Week, a seven-day promotion that resulted in 108,000 rides – a 20 percent increase over the previous week’s total of more than 90,000 rides. In February, DART will host “DART Date Night” on Friday, February 14, offering free rides after 5 p.m. for Valentine’s Day.

Fastest Growing New or Improved DART Routes

Route Name

Service Improvement

December 2012 Ridership

December 2013 Ridership

Percent Increase

Route 60 – Ingersoll/University

New route

15,763

26,354

67 percent

Altoona Express Route 99

Added trips

1,573

2,263

44 percent

E.P. True Express Route 96

Service to Jordan Creek

1,862

2,634

41 percent

Jordan Creek / Valley West Crosstown Route 52

New route

8,270

11,228

36 percent

Flex Route 72 – West Des Moines and Clive

New route; replaced WDM On Call

2,553

3,451

35 percent

Route 15 – 6th Avenue

Streamlined route

19,558

24,661

26 percent

Route 6 – Indianola Avenue

Streamlined route; added frequency

18,314

22,622

24 percent

Route 17 – Hubbell Avenue

Streamline route; added frequency

13,795

16,831

22 percent

Ankeny Express Route 98

Midday service added

6,076

7,369

21 percent

New Shelter at Southridge Mall

Riders of Routes 6 and 7 have another reason to celebrate the new year, with the installation of a brand new shelter at Southridge Mall.

Southridge_Shelter

This is the second new shelter installed by DART in recent months, and the first of many going up around the metro throughout 2014. Shelters will be installed as sites are selected and finalized. Have a suggestion for a bus stop that could use a shelter? Please leave a reply below.