‘Try Transit Week’ Hopes to Attract More DART Riders

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Try Transit Week is nothing new for the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority but the 2016 edition may be more important than any other.

“We are looking for feedback from the community on our future plans for transit in the region, DART Forward 2035,” said Amanda Wanke, DART.  “We want to make sure that as we grow as a community and as technology and transportation are changing that we meet the changing needs of our community.”

Greater Des Moines residents can ride free on DART buses during Try Transit Week, Sunday Oct. 16 through Saturday Oct. 22. DART Local, Express, Flex and On Call service will be free to ride during the week. No pass or cash is required to get on the bus.

The goal of Try Transit Week is to give people who haven’t taken the bus before an incentive to try it out, they don’t have to worry about the cost, having cash, or how to use the fare box.

“We want to expose more people to the benefits of taking the bus. It’s also a way for us to thank our regular customers,” said Wanke.

The program runs each day this week and officials estimate that it will cost approximately $3,000 per day in lost case fares.

“We believe the benefits of this opportunity outweigh the costs,” said Wanke.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve ridden a DART bus you’ll notice some new items.

“We also are starting to put several new buses on the roads. Three new ones went on the roads last week, and a few more this week for more than 20 total in the coming weeks,” said Wanke. “I think it would be good for me to show people our RideTime app and Google maps, and how people can use those tools to find out when the next bus is coming in case they haven’t used it before.”