Bike & Ride Twitter Photo Contest

biketweet

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.

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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.

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.

Time to Ride: Cyclists ride the bus for free during Bike to Work Week

Grab your bike helmets and bus schedules. It’s time to ride.

Next week is Bike to Work Week, and to encourage people to ride the bus and their bikes, DART is offering free bus rides to cyclists Monday through Friday, May 16-20.

All you need to ride the bus for free is a working bicycle and a coupon. Coupons are at Bike Month events, at DART headquarters, and at local bike shops including:

Bike World, 6600 Douglas Avenue, Urbandale

Barr Bicycle, 1710 86th Street, Clive

Bike Country, 825 East First Street, Ankeny

Rasmussen Bike Shop, 301 Grand Avenue, West Des Moines

Using DART’s bike racks is easy, as those of you who’ve tried them already know (34,000 uses in the past year alone!). But for anyone who’d like to practice using them, you have a chance to try them out in a stress-free setting during Bike Month. Now through May 31, DART will have its new, full-sized bike rack displays at Bike Country in Ankeny and Rasmussen Bike Shop in West Des Moines for you to check out. You can also click here for online instructions.

Last but not least, please join us for the Two Wheel Caucus on Monday morning. DART staff, including Public Information Officer Gunnar Olson (@gunnarbolson) and Planner Stefanie Toftey (@BusStopDiva), will be meeting up with Congressman Leonard Boswell and others at the parking lot at 39th and Grand Avenue at 6:50 a.m., then riding our bikes to work downtown. Click here for other Bike Month news and events.

Happy riding!

Stats show B-cycle is off to a solid start

Good morning, readers.

Some impressive stats for you today from Des Moines B-cycle, only the fifth bicycle-sharing program in the country when it launched September 1.

DART received an update yesterday as a partner in the program (DART staff field B-cycle’s customer service calls). Highlights include:

  • 359 members
  • 736 trips
  • 6,018 pounds carbon offset
  • 253,398 calories burned
  • 13th and Grand is busiest kiosk
  • Very low vandalism — one slashed tire and two deflated tires

From the letter from Carl Voss of the Des Moines Bicycle Collective:

Our B-cycle program caught the eyes of many. From San Francisco and Seattle to Greenville and Boston, we filed calls from a variety of communities seeking our start-up advice. I can’t tell you how pleasing it was to share insights with Seattle, which will spend more money on consultants than we invested in a pilot program. In Des Moines, we just did it.

We have learned and adapted and are now ready to expand. When spring rolls around, we’d like to see 100 bikes and 10 or more kiosks — a real network — in downtown Des Moines. And yes, we’ve already fielded inquiries about a satellite network in West Des Moines.

DART has already committed to locating a B-cycle kiosk at the new Transit Hub when it opens in late 2012.

study: depot near transit hub should reopen for passenger rail

Riders:

The Rock Island Lines depot, near DART’s future Transit Hub in downtown Des Moines, would be restored as the city’s station for passenger rail between Chicago and Omaha if the recommendations of a new report come to fruition.

The study by the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization was reported this morning by The Des Moines Register. Click here for the full article.

Downtown Community Alliance President Glenn Lyons told the newspaper: “When you think about it, it’s an obvious conclusion.”

The study is reaffirming for DART officials, who believe the historic depot’s proximity to the future Transit Hub would benefit the customers of both DART and Amtrak. The depot is approximately one block east and one block south of the Transit Hub site south of Cherry between 6th Avenue and 7th Street.

By centralizing public transit and passenger rail in one area, the city would effectively create a “transportation campus.” As mentioned in previous posts, the campus would also include a kiosk at the Transit Hub for new B-cycle bike-sharing program.

b-cycle comes to des moines, dart to help out

DART and the bus blog join those excited for next week’s launch of Des Moines B-Cycle.

Members of the bicycle-sharing program can check out a bike from one location, peddle where they need to go, then leave it at a docking station. Like the D-Line, the B-Cycles will make moving around downtown easier without relying on a car.

DART staff try out the B-Cycle.

DART will be doing its part to support the B-Cycle program by taking its customer service calls. DART will also host a B-Cycle kiosk at the Transit Hub when it opens.

Carl Voss of the Des Moines Bicycle Collective, responsible for bringing  B-Cycle here, tells the bus blog that the most highly frequented kiosks in other cities with the program are those nearest public transit stations.

A press event to introduce B-Cycle to Greater Des Moines is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday downtown at 13th and Grand.

More details about the program, including a demo video, are available on Des Moines B-Cycle’s website. Click here to check it out.

Here’s how B-Cycle is described there:

Bike sharing makes it economical and convenient to use bikes for trips that are too far to walk but too short to drive. As a member, you can use a B-cycle to run an errand, grab lunch, travel from the bus stop to your office, or just get some fresh air. There are as many reasons to use a B-cycle as there are members!

That’s why we say it’s magic: a bike that’s there when you need it and gone when you don’t.

With your magic bike, you don’t have to look for a parking space or bring your own bike with you everywhere you go. Plus, riding a B-cycle is good for you and good for the environment. It’s the newest and best way to get around town.