Half Fare Programs

DART offers a Half Fare program for people to ride for about half the cost of regular bus fare. Acceptance in the program is good for life and does not expire except in cases of a temporary disability, refugees or students. DART is extending its pilot project to temporarily expand who is eligible for this program through June 30, 2022. As part of the pilot, riders who receive housing assistance will now qualify to purchase half-fare passes, along with those receiving food assistance, or those participating in a job training program or seeking employment.

Who is Eligible?

  • Adults 65 and older
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Refugees
  • Students
  • People receiving food assistance (Through June 30, 2022)
  • Participants in workforce training programs (Through June 30, 2022)
  • Individuals receiving unemployment benefits (Through June 30, 2022)
  • Those receiving housing assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher program (Effective July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022).

How to Apply

  1. Go to the Customer Service window at DART Central Station, 620 Cherry Street, Des Moines, IA 50309. Bring the required documents for your program, noted in the "Required Documents" below. 
  2. Ask for a Half Fare application and fill it out with your information. Students do not need to apply, but can simply show a current school year ID to buy passes. 
  3. A Customer Service member will review the application. This usually takes 1-2 minutes unless more documentation is required. 
  4. If approved, your photo will be taken and you will be given a Half Fare ID card with your name and photo. 
  5. Use this Half Fare ID card to pay with cash on the bus or to buy a bus pass. Ask Customer Service to add Half Fare to your MyDART account if you are using the MyDART app to pay. 

Required Documents

When you go to DART Central Station to apply for a Half Fare ID card, please bring the required documents for the program to which you are applying.

Adults 65+

  • Bring a photo ID with your date of birth (example: driver's license). 

Persons with Disabilities
(Bring one of the following)

  • Proof of Social Security disability payments from the federal government, such as a copy of the award letter that states payments are being received due to disability. 
  • Medicare card
  • DART's Health Care Provider Certification form completed by your physician. (NOTE: To save yourself another trip to DART Central Station, please have this form filled out before submitting your Half Fare application. You can get an application at DART Central Station.)

(A representative from your refugee-service agency must be present when you fill out your application and bring the following documents.)

  • I-94 form and;
  • Photo ID or green card


  • Bring a current school year ID from a middle school or high school, public or private, within Polk County. Parents may purchase passes for their children and the students do not need to be present; however, the parent must have student's school ID. 

Individuals receiving food assistance

  • Bring a photo ID or other form of identification
  • Bring the Notice of Decision or Determination for Food Assistance mailed to you by the Department of Human Services (DHS).

Individuals receiving housing assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher (effective July 1, 2021)

  • Bring a photo ID or other form of identification
  • Bring proof of receiving housing assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher.

Participants in workforce training programs

  • Bring a photo ID or other form of identification
  • Bring a letter on official letterhead from participating organization showing proof that you are participating in a job training program.

Individuals receiving unemployment

  • Bring a photo ID or other form of identification
  • Bring the Unemployment Claim letter that Iowa Workforce Development sent you when you completed your unemployment application. This letter is printed on green paper, and is otherwise known as your “green sheet.”

Opportunities Thru Transit (OTT)

DART is currently not accepting any new applications for the OTT program. Riders enrolled in the current OTT program prior to Jan. 1, 2021 remain eligible to purchase monthly OTT passes until further notice. If you have questions about OTT, or need to update your program information, please call DART Customer Service at 515-283-8100 option 0.

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