TMD partnered with the new Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (founded in 2006) to undertake a comprehensive rethink of transit mobility in the Des Moines region. Short, intermediate, and long-term recommendations were developed as part of the DART Forward 2035 Transit Service Plan by the DART Commission in 2011.
DART Forward 2035 calls for expanded DART service throughout the greater Des Moines area and includes a service restructuring and reinvestment element that strengthens high performing routes while recommending new cross-town services, an expanded commute and reverse commute express network, Des Moines’ first Bus Rapid Transit line, and the implementation of suburban fixed and flex route community services. A comprehensive operations and capital financial plan was developed and adopted by the DART Commission to fund the recommended plan improvements. The study also analyzed corridors for enhanced service and selected one BRT corridor for submittal under FTA’s “Very Small Starts” program.
The plan established a new vision for transit in the greater Des Moines area. Recommendations were based on analysis of transit service, ridership, and markets; industry best practice service and network design; and extensive stakeholder input to create a fully-regional transit system. The recommendations aimed to both increase the availability of public mobility for customers and build a financially sustainable network for the region by accomplishing the following objectives:
- Create a faster travel experience with less waiting time
- Introduce new services and invest in successful established services
- Build a network for non-downtown transfer opportunities
- Serve more places and more customers
- Invest in future enhanced transit service
TMD is currently assisting DART with the “Year Five Update” of the DART Forward 2035 plan.