|DART Central Station|
The opening of DART Central Station in downtown Des Moines will mark an important new chapter in public transit history in Greater Des Moines.
Following years of visioning and planning, the project is now fully funded, thanks in large part to state and federal grants totaling $20.5 million. Ground breaking is slated for May 2011. The facility is expected to open by late 2012.
DART Central Station will replace the outdated Walnut Street Transit Mall with a new, state-of-the-art facility located south of Cherry Street between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Street. It is strategically positioned near DART's operations headquarters, as well as the existing transit mall. In addition, it is one block from the historic Rock Island train depot, the Des Moines station for possible future rail between Chicago and Omaha. The project has long been viewed not only as a vital improvement to the public transit system, but also as an important component in the ongoing revitalization of downtown Des Moines.
The facility was designed by substance Architecture of Des Moines, with three primary objectives:
The resulting concept is a facility that will not only be easy for customers to safely navigate, but it also offer them a superior public transit experience. Customer-service amenities include climate-controlled waiting areas, public restrooms, a customer service desk, sheltered boarding platforms, bicycle storage, a cafe or coffee shop, and connections to bicycle paths and possibly passenger rail. The building will also be eco-friendly, powered by more than 70 geothermal wells, as well as solar technology incorporated into the building's canopy.