Pilot program aims to make it easier for new Iowans to learn to ride DART

Posted on June, 7 2018

A new pilot project aims to make it easier for refugees and immigrants to learn to ride DART. The project, which includes new signage and how-to-ride guides in multiple languages, is the result of nine months of work by participants in the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute’s Community Leadership Program. Participants in the program worked with the US Committee on Refugees and Immigrants and DART to evaluate the needs of new Iowans and how they could help make their experience better. Participants included: Dwana Bradley, Heather Brady, Breann Bye, Ana Coppola, Shannon Draayer, Bo James, Manish Shah, Evan Shaw, Amy Strutt, Jaclyn Wulfekuhle.

Signage Installation
What:                First installation of new bus stop signage
When:               10:30 a.m., Friday, June 8
Where:              Meet at 12th & University DART Bus Stop #3792
Contact:             Media interested in covering the event should contact Erin Hockman, ehockman@ridedart.com, 515-283-8132

How-to-ride Pocket Guide
The how-to-ride guide is available in six of the most frequently used languages in addition to English: Arabic, Burmese, Karen, Nepali, Spanish, Swahili.

Signage Pilot
In addition to the pocket guides, additional signage is being tested on more than 30 bus stops along Route 3, which provides access to many essential services along the University Avenue corridor. The signs feature icons and maps to help riders better plan their trip.

“DART’s mission is enriching lives, connecting communities, and expanding opportunities. We hope that by making the bus system easier for refugees and immigrants to use, they are able to access the services and resources they need to successfully acclimate to their new home,” explained DART CEO Elizabeth Presutti.

“We are so grateful to this group of community leaders for their work in meeting the needs of local refugees and immigrants,” said Carly Ross, director of USCRI Des Moines. “Our goal is to support these individuals as they rebuild their lives in our community, and transportation is an essential part of that process. The contributions of these leaders is invaluable.”


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