About Tony F.

Transportation Planner serving Central Iowa to achieve comprehensive transportation goals.

May is Bike Month

This month is Bike Month in Des Moines and DART is a cyclist’s friend.

All DART buses are equipped with bike racks, making it convenient for you to bike & ride around the city. In 2013, DART carried 52,418 bicycles, which shows that taking the bus is the perfect way to get to your bicycling destination, or your relaxing way back after a great ride.

DART Central Station is Downtown Des Moines’ premier intermodal facility with public bike racks available along the north sidewalk of the station fronting 6th Avenue. Also, at the corner of 6th Avenue & Cherry Street is the DART Central Station B-Cycle Station, the bike-sharing system in Downtown Des Moines.

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If you’re looking for a way to store your bike out of the elements, reserve a spot in the bike storage room at DART Central Station. Members have card access to secure bicycle storage and changing rooms. Become a member for $50 a year with a one-time refundable $50 deposit for the access card. The bike storage facility is accessible Monday – Friday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Take DART to the Drake Relays

Drake Relays are returning to Des Moines April 23-27. Beat the parking and take DART to events in and around Des Moines.

The Drake Campus is conveniently serviced by Route 3 – University Avenue, and Route 60 – University/Ingersoll Loop with regular and all-day service along University Avenue. For directions and schedules, use the MyDART Trip Planner to plan your weekend fun.

A reminder to Drake University students and employees, rides on DART bus routes are free when you show your current student ID to the bus operator when boarding. A regular cash fare is $1.75 per trip.

Enjoy the Relays!

In a Van, I Can…

Count the cattle.

Eat a breakfast sandwich with both hands.

And save 25% off three month’s fare.

Individuals who join a DART RideShare vanpool in April or May 2014 will receive a 25 percent discount on the first three month’s fare.

RideShare connects commuters who live and work near each other so they can share rides. Vanpoolers save money, use commute times more productively and reduce their carbon footprint. RideShare provides the van, gas and maintenance; you enjoy the ride.rideshare coupon

To join a vanpool, redeem a trial ride coupon or learn more, contact DART RideShare Customer Service today by phone at 515-288-RIDE (7433) or email at rideshare@ridedart.com.

Ride DART Routes 51 and 91 for Free in April

April14Promo

Individuals can take an unlimited number of free rides April 1-30 on both DART Local Route 51 – Merle Hay Crosstown and Express Route 91 – Merle Hay.

The month-long promotion aims to introduce residents to the expanding services available along the Merle Hay corridor. Local Route 51 was introduced in August as part of DART Forward 2035 Transit Service Plan and more directly connects Merle Hay Mall with downtown Des Moines. Both Local Route 51 and Express Route 91 connect major destinations along the Merle Hay Road, including employment opportunities, retail stores, restaurants, medical facilities, school campuses and DART Central Station.

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Local Route 51 operates between Merle Hay Mall and DART Central Station (620 Cherry St., Des Moines), including destinations along Merle Hay Road. Buses depart from stops every 30 to 60 minutes on weekdays from approximately 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Express Route 91 operates between Johnston City Hall Park & Ride and downtown Des Moines. Buses depart from stops every 30 minutes on weekdays from approximately 6 to 8:15 a.m. and 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Call Center Challenge

DART’s own Peg Hadley represented Greater Des Moines, Iowa, at the national Call Center Challenge in New Orleans in February. Peg Hadley did DART proud as a runner-up in the national finals.Hadley at Call Center Challenge

In the contest, actors pretend to be challenging transit customers who call in to the “Call Center” for help. The contestants answer the fictitious calls and are judge on how well they handle the caller. Hadley was one of only seven competitors to pass out of the first round of 60 people. As a result, she was invited to compete in the finals during the American Public Transportation Association Marketing and Communications Conference in New Orleans. “Her ability to relate to our customers is amazing,” Customer Service Manager PJ Sass said. “She’s always pleasant and positive working with our callers. She is a tremendous asset to DART and the Customer Service Department.”

It was the first time DART was represented at the national contest, and Hadley turned in a stellar performance for her first national showing. The contest winner had competed in previous years.

Way Back Wednesday 3/26

Our transit system has evolved to the changing needs of Greater Des Moines. Your commute would have been far different 70 years ago when Des Moines was served by trolley buses, motor buses, and street cars than it is today.

Des Moines Comprehensive Plan 1940s

Des Moines Comprehensive Plan 1940s

The transit network of 1940 is documented in the Comprehensive City Plan of Des Moines. Three different modes of transit were used during this time: trolley buses, motor buses, and street cars. The routes were:

Street Cars
  • 1 – West Des Moines
  • 20 – Douglas
  • 2 – Ingersoll
  • 3 – University
  • 27 – Crocker
  • 17 – East 14th
  • 7 – Urbandale
  • 24 – Sevastapol
  • 25 – Fort Des Moines
  • 18 – Walker
Trolley Buses
  • 11 – Oak Park
  • 12 – Highland Park
  • 5 – Clark Street
  • 15 – East 6th & East 9th
Motor Buses
  • 10 – West 9th Street
  • 14 – 2nd Avenue
  • A – Easton
  • B – Euclid
  • C – Scott
  • D – University Cross Town
  • E – Windsor
  • F – 42nd Street

Do you recognize any of the routes still in use today?

We created a map of the transit network from 1940 along with our current roadway network. Many of the roadways have remained the same, but there are also new roadways. One such change in our transportation network is the addition of Interstate-235, which bisected many of the old transit routes

1940 Transit Network on 2014 Streets

1940 Transit Network on 2014 Streets

How would you commute to work using the network from the 1940s? Would you have used a trolley bus, street car, or a motor bus? Or all three?

Bus Stops now display on Google Maps

DART bus stops now display on Google Maps. This addition allows users to see locations of bus stops as well as get route information including what bus routes serve the stop and when the next bus is scheduled to arrive. A similar feature is also available on Bing Maps and the MyDART Trip Planner.

To view route and schedule information using Google Maps, simply click on the bus stop icon on the map.

Blog Google Stop

In the upper left, the transit card will display with the trip information along with a street view image. The transit card will tell you which bus routes stop at that stop, where the bus is headed, and the next scheduled times the bus will arrive.

This information is also available on the Google Maps app for mobile devices. Select a bus stop on the map and you will be able to pull up the bus schedules for that stop.

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Do you use your mobile device to find bus schedules? What ways do you like to check to see when the bus is scheduled to arrive? Let us know by commenting on the post.