DES MOINES, Iowa -- To celebrate National Bike Month the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority is letting people ride the bus for free if they bring their bike on board.
DART Chief Operations Officer Tim Sanderson said this is a way for people to try out new ways of getting to work or school, but also a new way to get to the trails.
“It’s something that we really want to encourage, is it just isn’t for going to and from work. Again our buses can’t cover every square mile of the greater Des Moines area. So rather than having to walk when you get off the bus you can use your bike and again if it’s getting to a trail has you going down some streets you may not feel riding your bike on, again a good option would be to take the bus part of the way there and just cycle the rest,” Sanderson said.
He added, DART saw a spike in ridership and had about 8,000 bikes on board the first time they did this in 2016.
“Every passenger that we have is a pedestrian or a cyclist at some point in time. There’s just so many environmental benefits with choosing to leave your car at home and cycling part of the way. What a lot of people will do is they’ll cycle to work and then maybe take the bus home,” Sanderson said.
Each bus has a bike rack that fits children’s bikes and adult bikes, unfortunately there are only two bike slots per bus and if it’s full you might have to wait for the next bus.
Sanderson said there are some important safety reminders when taking your bike on the bus: let the driver know when you are getting on and off that you have a bike and make sure you are off your bike when the bus pulls up.
“What we also recommend is when you’re taking your bike off especially, is that you come back on the sidewalk and wait for the bus to leave and then you can go on your way at that point in time, that way the cars can see you,” Sanderson said.