Jan 12, 2023 - News

DART to launch on-demand rides in Des Moines' 50314 ZIP code

A photo of a DART bus.

DART's On-Demand service generally includes smaller buses than those on regular routes. Screenshot of DART video via YouTube

DART will launch an on-demand ride service for residents in Des Moines' 50314 ZIP code in June, spokesperson Erin Hockman told Axios Wednesday.

Why it matters: Program sponsors believe it can help lift families out of poverty.

  • The area has the lowest median household income in DART's metro region, Hockman said.

Catch up fast: Almost all 1,200 low-income residents who took part in a 2019 and 2020 survey identified transportation as a problem.

  • On-demand scheduling was the preferred solution.

What's happening: "DART on Demand River Bend" is a pilot program that will work much like DART's Ankeny On Demand service.

  • Rides will be offered via an app and can be booked a week in advance.

The intrigue: The River Bend project costs about $200,000 a year and is entirely paid for with grants from groups like the Principal Financial Group Foundation, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation and the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.

  • The on-demand service will be evaluated after a year , Hockman said.

Of note: A similar service will also be added to West Des Moines in June.

  • That program is considered cost-neutral due to changes to other routes, Hockman said.

What's next: DART is collecting input on service changes, including hours of operation.

A map of a DART route.
Map courtesy of DART

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Des Moines.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Des Moines stories

No stories could be found

Des Moinespostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Des Moines.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more