DART Bus Pilot Half Price Fares - AMP | Achieving Maximum Potential

DART Bus Pilot Half Price Fares



I wanted you to be one of the first to know that DART is launching a pilot program beginning in 2021 to expand the number of people who can qualify for half fare bus passes. Between January and June 2021, the following groups will now be eligible to purchase half fare bus passes:

  • Individuals approved for food assistance programs
  • Individuals receiving workforce assistance or participating in job training programs

To enroll, riders will need to visit DART Customer Service and present one of the following forms of verification in order to qualify:

  • Food assistance notice of decision or determination
  • Proof of job training program participation
  • Proof of unemployment application

Eligible riders who present one of these forms of verification will be issued a half fare identification card and can immediately begin purchasing all forms of half fare bus passes, including a single ride token, day, week or monthly bus pass. Individuals will also be able to access half fare passes via the MyDART mobile app as well as at all DART pass sales outlets.


The following groups will continue to qualify for half-fare bus passes and will see no changes during the pilot period: Seniors 65+, People with disabilities, Refugees, Middle/High School students.


Opportunities through Transit program changes

DART’s Opportunities Through Transit Program (OTT) is a partnership with Polk County to offer reduced cost monthly bus passes for income restricted riders who are searching for employment. To qualify for this program, riders must participate in a formal application process that includes verification from both Iowa Workforce Development and DART. During this half-fare pilot program, DART will temporarily freeze participation in the OTT program and not accept new applicants but will instead refer them to participate in the pilot program if eligible. Individuals currently enrolled in the OTT program will continue to retain access to the OTT monthly pass during the pilot period.


Program start

The official pilot period will begin and run January 1-June 30, 2021. However, DART will start enrolling eligible participants beginning December 15, 2020 so individuals are able to purchase bus fare for the month of January.


Learn and help DART promote these changes

DART is working now to prepare our internal teams, including Customer Service and our Operators so that they are ready for this program expansion to begin, and will begin communicating with our riders through a variety of methods, including updating the information available on our website.


To learn more about the half-fare program expansion, we will offer virtual information sessions starting next week. These sessions will provide an overview of the program expansion, as well as allow time for questions. In lieu a formal registration, you will receive a calendar invitation for each information session and are encouraged to only accept the date that works best for you.


As part of this, our team has created a toolkit that I’ll be sharing, including a flier and some suggested language for social media posts and emails for you to use and distribute among your organization and those you serve as you see fit. I plan on sending this out next week as a follow up.


Please let me know if you have any questions about this program and I’ll be happy to answer them or direct you to the best person on the DART team to help. Thank you again for your coordination in helping to spread the word about DART’s services and programs with the communities you serve.



Catlin Curry



Catlin Curry, Mobility Coordinator [he/him]

DART, Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority

620 Cherry Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

Direct: 515-246-2526 | Cell: 515-204-7419

Fax: 515-283-8135 | ridedart.com

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