DART Paratransit provides demand-response transportation service to senior citizens and people with disabilities. Some services are provided free of charge under contract to a number of agencies, including Polk County Social Service, State of Iowa Human Services, and Link Associates. Other services require passengers to pay a fare and are subsidized by DART member cities Ankeny, Altoona, Clive, Des Moines, Pleasant Hill, Urbandale, West Des Moines and Windsor Heights.
Who is Eligible?
Eligibility for Paratransit service that is paid by an agency is normally determined by age, disability or income. For example, the gross income for a one-person household must be under $837 per month, without regard to expenses. Eligibility for service requires passengers to have a disability that prevents them from using the fixed-route buses. An application must be completed to determine eligibility.
How Do I Obtain Free Services through Polk County?
Low-income people wishing to take advantage of the free Paratransit service in Polk County must first apply to the appropriate funding agency. To do this, call Polk County at (515) 286-3484 or DART Paratransit at (515) 283-8136.
If approved, the customer rides Paratransit at no charge. The funding agency may restrict the rider to certain types of transportation, such as medical appointments, work or grocery shopping. Polk County Adult Services does not fund employment or school transportation.
If I Do Not Qualify through Polk County, What Can I Do?
Disabled persons who are not approved for agency-funded transportation or whose trips are restricted may qualify for Paratransit's "Bus Plus" services. The Bus Plus program is designed to provide transportation for people who have a disability that prevents them from using fixed-route bus service. Bus Plus passengers may travel for any reason and must pay a fare. To start the eligibility process, a person must fill out a "DART Bus Service Eligibility Form.” This form must be submitted to DART's Paratransit Department, which will review the application and mail back the results within 21 days.
Bus Plus service fulfills Des Moines DART's Americans with Disabilities Act obligations.
Both Bus Plus and agency-funded riders must make reservations by calling Paratransit one working day before the trip is to be taken.
For additional information, please call Paratransit at (515) 283-8136.
Bus Plus Rider's Guide
DART's RideShare program also has available upon request a van that includes a wheelchair lift and is fully accessible. Please see Carpool/Vanpool section for details about joining a vanpool. Accessible Vanpool Opportunities