Riding the Bus

Planning Your Trip

DART offers riders several options for planning their public transit trips:
 
DART Customer Service
DART Customer Service representatives are available in person at DART Central Station, 620 Cherry St., Des Moines, by email at dart@ridedart.com or by phone at 515-283-8100 to help you plan your trip. To get started, tell us the location you’re starting from and where you’re going – we’ll map your trip for you, including the bus routes, times and stop locations.
 
Customer Service Window
Monday - Friday: 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
Customer Service Phone 
Monday - Friday: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
System Route Map and Bus Schedules
DART’s system route map provides an overview of available services. Locate your starting point and destination to find the route(s) that best meet your needs. Once you decide on the route that is convenient for you, determine when to make your trip using route-specific bus schedules. For more detailed information about reading schedule brochures, visit our Reading Schedules page.
 
Online Trip Planners
Google Maps and Bing Maps have DART routes built into their travel directions. Enter your trip details and click on the transit or bus icon to see DART bus routes and times.
 

 

Going to Your Bus Stop

Arrive at your bus stop three to five minutes early and wait where the operator can see you. All DART bus stops are marked with orange and purple signs with identifying information:
  • Route numbers are featured in white type on the upper, orange and purple sign.
  • Stop ID numbers are featured in purple type on the lower, all-orange sign.
Some stops have shelters or benches.
 

Getting on the Bus and Paying your Fare

As the bus approaches, check the sign above the windshield to make sure you’re getting on the correct bus. Stand near the curb and wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before boarding. Have your fare ready before boarding and upon boarding deposit cash/token in fare box, swipe pass or show your transfer ticket/special ID to the operator and request a transfer, if you will be using more than one bus to reach your destination Request a transfer slip if you are using more than one bus route to get to your destination. Transfer slips are good for two hours. Find a seat, sit back and enjoy the ride!

Acceptable DART fare payment options include:
  • Exact chance
  • Bus pass
  • MyDART app passes 
  • Transfer slip
  • Special ID

 

Getting Off at Your Stop

Stay alert and remember to signal the driver about a block before your stop. If you are not sure where to get off, ask the driver when you first get on the bus. About a block before your bus stop, signal the driver by pulling the cord above the window or pressing the stop button on the hand rail. Gather your belongings and if possible, exit through the back door. Please wait until the bus pulls away before crossing the street and do not cross in front of the bus.
 

How to Ride Training

DART offers monthly How to Ride Training at DART Central Station.
 
You’ll learn how to:
  • Plan a trip
  • Read maps and schedules
  • Recognize bus stops
  • Pay your fare
  • Practice rider safety and more
 

Tips

Follow these helpful suggestions to make bus riding easier, safer and more pleasant for you and other DART passengers:
  • Be at the bus stop five minutes early to make sure you don't miss your bus.
  • When you are waiting at the bus stop, make sure the driver can see you. Don't stand behind trees, parked vehicles or other obstructions.
  • Have your fare ready – exact change only. 
  • Upon boarding, show your pass to the driver or deposit your fare in the fare box. One slot is for coins and tokens, the other for bills.
  • In the winter, please scrape snow or slush from your shoes before boarding.
  • Whenever possible, remain seated during the ride. If you must stand, hold on to the handrails. Please move to the back if the bus is crowded.
  • Please remember that it is against the law to smoke or eat on the bus.
  • Please don't distract the driver or other riders. Earphones are required if you're listening to any audio device. 
  • Please take your papers, magazines or other materials with you when you leave the bus.
 
Trip Planner
Next DART Bus
Bus Stop Finder