In addition to its bus service, the Caravan by DART program (formerly known as RideShare) offers individuals an alternative to driving alone.
Caravan by DART helps commuters locate others with like travel patterns to share rides in vanpools. DART has a fleet of vans used by groups of five to 12 commuters for trips to and from work, and nearly 100 vanpools in operation.
Caravan currently serves a 20-county region that includes Adair, Boone, Carroll, Crawford, Clarke, Dallas, Decatur, Guthrie, Iowa, Jasper, Lucas, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Story, Union, Warren and Wayne counties. Additional vanpools are continually being created.
Caravan by DART is carpooling taken one step further: each Caravan can accommodate one volunteer driver and up to 11 passengers. Caravan members live within a few miles of one another, work in the same general area and have similar work hours. Once formed, vanpool members set their schedule and meet at a central location.
Each full-time passenger pays one low monthly fare based on individual passenger miles traveled and will be calculated as follows: 9.5 cents per mile times the number of miles traveled per day times 22 days per month. All full-time fares will be $95 per month minimum and will be capped at $400 per month.
In exchange for driving the van, the driver does not pay a monthly fare and has personal use of the van. The driver is responsible for coordinating maintenance of the van and seeing that the operation of the vanpool runs smoothly.
Save More Than Money
Commuters save thousands of dollars a year by vanpooling. You can reduce your gasoline, insurance, parking and maintenance costs by more than half. But beyond cost-savings vanpooling offers you:
- Time back in your day. Catch up on work, read, chat, sleep or otherwise relax during your commute.
- Reduced stress and frustration. Don’t navigate rush hour traffic, congestion, construction and delays by yourself, contact Caravan by DART to find a vanpool instead.
- Decreased wear and tear. Use your car less often and extend its life.
- Eco-friendly commute. Help reduce the amount of hazardous emissions by sharing your ride to work.
Guaranteed Ride Home
In case of an emergency, DART will guarantee a ride home to Caravan customers between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. To request this service, please call 515-288-RIDE (7433). If an emergency arises outside of Caravan by DART's normal business hours, please call DART Customer Service at 515-283-8100. Individuals are guaranteed three rides home per calendar year.
Join a Caravan Today
To join a vanpool, our team will help match you with an existing vanpool or start a new vanpool to fit your commute needs. Please contact DART's Customer Service by phone at 515-288-RIDE (7433) or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Each vanpool is required to submit a monthly report of their driving activities. These reports will contain information about daily ridership and vehicle usage, including non-commute trips.
The Caravan program is a cost-neutral service by DART. The transit agency’s goal is to cover the cost of the program, not generate profit from its customers. DART reviews the Caravan fare structure on an annual basis in order to maintain its cost-neutral status.