Des Moines Area Regional Transit

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Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority
Des Moines DART logo.svg
Founded 1973
2006 (as transit authority)
Headquarters 620 Cherry Street
Locale Des Moines, IA, United States
Service area urban area
Service type bus service, express bus service, paratransit, vanpool
Routes 26
Stops 1,642
Hubs 1
Fleet 244
Daily ridership 12,055 (FY 2013)[1]

Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) operates mass transit service in the Des Moines metropolitan area.


DART was founded in 1973 as the Des Moines Metropolitan Transit Authority, commonly known as the MTA. Formed by a partnership of the cities of Des Moines, West Des Moines, Clive, Windsor Heights, and Urbandale. The MTA eventually developed a 14-county carpool and vanpool system in addition to its bus system.[2]

By 2006, population growth in varying regions of central Iowa led to Polk County and nineteen cities forming a regional transportation agency following changes to Iowa law in 2005.[3]

Sunday service was added for the first time in 2007. In 2008, a free shuttle linked downtown Des Moines with the Iowa State Capitol. In 2012, a $21 million bus transfer station was opened on the south end of downtown, ending decades of using Walnut Street as a transit mall.


DART utilizes a hub and spoke system, designed to favor commuters, as opposed to point-to-point system.[4] All routes run through downtown Des Moines. In 1985, Walnut Street, traditionally a retail center for the city, was repurposed as a transit mall, with traffic banned during daytime hours in order to enable bus transfers.[5] This system was replaced by the $21 million DART Central Station in 2012.

Route List[edit]

Local Service[edit]

  • 1 Fairgrounds
  • 3 University Ave
  • 4 East 14th
  • 5 Franklin Ave
  • 6 Indianola
  • 7 SW 9th St
  • 8 SW 14th-Fleur
  • 11 Ingersoll Ave/Valley Junction
  • 13 Evergreen/SE Park Ave Circulator
  • 14 Beaver Ave
  • 15 6th Ave
  • 16 Douglas Ave
  • 17 Hubbell Ave/Altoona
  • 52 Valley West/Jordan Creek Crosstown
  • 60 University/Ingersoll Loop

Express Service[edit]

  • 91 Merle Hay Express
  • 92 Hickman Express
  • 93 NW 86th St. Express
  • 94 Westown Express
  • 95 Vista Express
  • 96 E. P. True Express
  • 98 Ankeny Express
  • 99 Altoona Express


  • The LINK/Center St. Park & Ride
  • D-Line Shuttle


  • Route 72 West Des Moines/Clive
  • Route 73 Urbandale/Windsor Heights
  • Route 74 NW Urbandale

On Call[edit]

  • Alleman
  • Ankeny
  • Bondurant
  • Carlisle
  • Granger
  • Grimes/NW Johnston
  • Mitchellville
  • Polk City


  1. ^ "FY 2013 Annual Report" (PDF). DART. 
  2. ^ Hancock, Jason (October 22, 2006). "Miller hopes DART scores a bull's-eye". Business Record. 
  3. ^ Conetzkey, Chris (March 27, 2010). "DART's budget: Exploring the need for route reductions". Business Record. 
  4. ^ Taylor, Chad (September 6, 2012). "Two weeks on the bus". Cityview. 
  5. ^ "Walnut Street Functional Programming" (PDF). Genus Landscape Architects. September 2011. 

External links[edit]