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?

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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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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.

February 23rd Service Changes

Service-Changes-022314DART performs three seasonal adjustments to route schedules to improve the reliability of bus services. Over the past year, DART has experienced growth throughout the system as a result of a redesigned and expanded network of bus routes, the opening of DART Central Station, and the introduction of new technologies for trip planning.

On February 23, 2014, schedule times will be adjusted on Local Routes 3, 6, 7, 14, 16, 51 and 52. Schedules will also be adjusted on Express routes 98 and 99 and on the Grimes/NW Johnston On Call Route.

New schedules will be available on the buses beginning Wednesday, February 19, 2014 and are currently available at www.ridedart.com.

Smarter Bus Schedules on your Smartphone

Your smart phone can give you smarter DART route schedules. The MyDART Trip Planner BETA not only provides you all the bus schedules – you can customize them based on your travel patterns. You can access any route schedule for the day you choose, whether it be a weekday, Saturday, Sunday or special service day. Customize the schedule to only show the bus stops you are interested in or narrow the time of day.

MyDART Mobile

1) Go to mydart.ridedart.com in your browser. 2) On your smartphone device, click on the DART logo on the upper left corner to navigate to all the MyDART mobile features which includes Trip Planner, Route Schedules, Next DART Bus and Bus Stop Finder. 3) Click on the “Route Schedules” link to get to the page.

Mobile Index

Schedule Select

4) To use the Route Schedules feature, simply select the date you wish to travel and route you are want the schedule for. 5) Then hit the purple button at the bottom that says “View Route Schedule.” The date will automatically open with the current day so you can easily use it when you need it. You can adjust the date if you are looking for future trips.

You have many options for viewing the schedule, including a certain span of time, the schedule between two bus stops, and maps of the route and desired bus stops.

Schedule Result

Looking for easy access to the Route Schedules feature? Bookmark the page to your home screen or in your browser. Check out these directions on how to bookmark pages on your smartphone:

More information about the MyDART Trip Planner, including a full user guide, is available on the DART Website. Click here to visit for more information.

How do you keep track of bus schedules? Do you download the pdf schedules, use the DART website, use printed brochures and the MyDART Book, or do you use the mobile trip planner features? Let us know!

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

Find Next DART Bus Arrivals on your Smartphone

Did you know the MyDART mobile site does more than just plan trips? One feature, Next DART Bus, lists the next scheduled bus arrivals at your bus stop.

MyDART Mobile

1) Go to mydart.ridedart.com in your mobile browser. 2) Click on the DART logo on the upper left corner to navigate to all the MyDART mobile features which includes Trip Planner, Route Schedules, Next DART Bus, and Bus Stop Finder. 3) Click on the “Next DART Bus” link to get to the page.

Mobile Index

Next Bus Mobile

4) To use the Next DART Bus feature, simply type in the Bus Stop ID and 5) hit the purple button at the bottom that says “Next DART Bus.” The time and date will automatically open with the current time so you can easily use it when you arrive at your stop. You can adjust the time if you are looking for future trips. Not sure what your bus stop ID is? The stop ID is posted underneath the DART Bus Stop sign and is a three- or four-digit number.

Next DART Bus approximates the time the bus is scheduled to arrive based on its distance from the last timepoint. These are approximate times; actual arrival times may vary depending on traffic and weather. In the future, real-time bus arrival information will be available.

Looking for easy access to Next DART Bus? Bookmark the page to your home screen or in your browser. Check out these directions on how to bookmark pages on your smartphone:

More information about the MyDART Trip Planner, including a full user guide, is available on the DART Website. Click here to visit for more information.

Did you know there were other features than just the Trip Planner on the MyDART site? Have your tried Next DART Bus? Let us know!