Posted: March 16, 2020
As community spread cases of COVID-19 increase in Iowa, DART is taking further steps to maintain the health of our employees and passengers.
Please remember that you, our riders, can help by:
- Staying home if you are sick;
- Washing your hands frequently, following the CDC guidelines;
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, especially your nose, mouth and eyes;
- Cover your coughs and sneezes; and
- Practice social distancing while riding DART, leaving as much space as possible between yourself and the driver and other riders.
Increased cleaning schedule
Effective Sunday, March 15, DART began cleaning all of its vehicles daily using a special CDC-recommended antiviral agent that effectively disinfects large areas. This cleaner is sprayed on all buses used for Fixed Route, On Call and Paratransit services, as well as all vehicles used by other DART staff.
Along with the disinfectant, DART is continuing to do the routine daily maintenance and cleaning on each bus at the end of the service day. Learn more about our cleaning process here.
Changes at DART Central Station
At this time, the lobby of DART Central Station remains open to the public. The building is cleaned multiple times per day, and crews have increased how often high-traffic areas are cleaned and disinfected. In addition, DART staff in shared workspaces and high traffic areas, such as Customer Service representatives, have been directed to sanitize their personal stations frequently.
Out of an abundance of caution, DART has decided to close the second floor of DART Central Station. We took this move to ensure the health and safety of our staff. Public restrooms and facilities remain open for the public to use in the lobby of DART Central Station.
Finally, while the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) will continue to have its mobile food pantry at DART Central Station each Thursday, effective Thursday, March 19, the mobile pantry staff will distribute pre-packaged grab and go bags of food instead of having patrons walk through the truck. DMARC will continue to distribute food from the area behind platforms M and N at DART Central Station until further notice.
Cancelled public meetings
A series of public meetings DART had scheduled to host at DART Central Station between March 23 and 25 have been postponed. DART will avoid hosting large meetings for staff or outside groups while the CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health recommend against these gatherings.
Future service plans
At this time, DART has no plans to adjust service. As we have watched the virus impacts in other states and countries, it is extremely rare for a public transit system to stop all operations. Public transit is an essential service to get people the life-sustaining services and products they need. However, DART may consider service reductions if we see significant and sustained decreases to ridership. In addition, we are preparing in the event we need to reduce or stop service due to recommendations from public health officials. Any changes to our services will be communicated through ridedart.com, by email to riders and through our social media channels.