Reduced Fare Programs

As part of DART’s mission to improve citizens’ quality of life in Central Iowa, DART offers a variety of reduced-fare programs to improve access to public transit for all residents. Elderly (65+), persons with disabilities, Medicare card holders, students in middle and high school, and refugees can ride DART at a reduced rate through one of DART’s reduced fare programs. Reduced fare programs include:
 
 

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.
 
Who is Eligible?
  • Adults 65 and older
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Refugees
  • Students

Cost to Ride
Riders accepted into the Half Fare program will receive a Half Fare card to pay with cash on the bus or buy passes in the MyDART app, at Customer Service or at pass sales outlets. Students are only eligible to purchase weekly or monthly passes at Customer Service and pass sales outlets with a current school year ID. 

Local, Express, Flex and On Call
(Does not include Paratransit service)

Single Ride$0.75
Weekly Pass$7.00
Monthly Pass$24.00
Tokens (1 token = 1 ride)10/$7.50


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 card with your name and photo. 
  5. Use this Half Fare 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 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 recieved 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.)

Refugees
(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

Students

  • 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. 
     

Half Fare Guidelines

  • The Half Fare ID card is not transferable and can only be used by the card holder. 
  • Improper use of the Half Fare ID card will result in the loss of card privileges. 
  • The Half Fare ID cards may be used to purchase only one weekly pass per week or one monthly bus pass per month. 
  • If a Half Fare card is lost or needs to be replaced, DART Customer Service can create a new card for $5.

For more information about the Half Fare Programs, call 515-283-8100 or visit DART Central Station at 620 Cherry Street, Des Moines.

Opportunities Thru Transit (OTT)

Reduced Rate $18/Month
Income-eligible people can ride the bus at a reduced rate when going to work, looking for a job or traveling to adult educational and training programs. The bus pass gives you unlimited use of DART buses for the current calendar month. 
 
Requirements
Several factors determine eligibility for the program:
Must be a resident of Polk County.
Must not be participating in DART programs offering reduced fare, including DART Paratransit service.
Must not be employed by a company that subsidizes bus passes for employees.
Must be at least 18 years old and out of high school.
Total household income must be below 125% of the federal poverty level.
Income eligibility requirements, effective February 2018, are:
1-person household – $15,175
2-person household – $20,575
3-person household – $25,975
4-person household – $31,375
5-person household – $36,775
6-person household – $42,175
7-person household – $47,575
8-person household – $52,975
 
To Apply
  1. Go to the Customer Service windows at DART Central Station, 620 Cherry Street, Des Moines, IA 50309. Bring proof of your household income (Example: pay stubs or social security checks). 
  2. Ask for an OTT application and fill it out with your information.
  3. A customer service member will review the application and verify all information. This takes approximately 7-14 days.
  4. A letter will be mailed to your home address stating if the application was approved or denied. 
  5. If the application is approved, return to DART Central Station to buy your OTT bus pass each month. OTT passes may be purchased with cash, debit card, credit card or business/organization check. No personal checks will be accepted. OTT bus passes cannot be purchased at any pass sales outlets. 
 
OTT Guidelines
  • DART is not responsible for lost or stolen OTT passes. OTT riders can receive one free replacement, once per year, from DART Customer Service. 
  • Only one pass may be purchased each month.
  • If you move, please contact DART at 515-283-8100 to update your information. You may be cancelled if we cannot reach you.
  • If you do not purchase a pass within three months you will automatically be cancelled and need to reapply.
  • Failure to abide with guidelines will result in immediate and permanent termination from the program.
  • Participants are eligible for a maximum of three years in the OTT program.
  • OTT does not include special events, such as the Iowa State Fair.
 
If you have any questions about the OTT program or need to update your information please call DART at 515-283-8100.

Work and School Programs

Employer and School Programs
Many employers and schools offer free or reduced bus passes for employees or students. Ask your employer or your school if you ride free or at a reduced rate. 
 
If you are eligible, you can ride DART simply by showing the driver your employee or student ID. Please make sure your employer or school name is easily visible.
 
Employers (As of 2/4/2018) - Most employees ride free by showing their employee ID. (Vendors, contractors and interns may not be eligible. Check with DART Customer Service or your employer to confirm)
  • City of Des Moines
  • Cognizant
  • Davis Brown Law Firm
  • Dee Zee Manufacturing
  • Des Moines Bicycle Collective
  • Des Moines Public Schools
  • Des Moines MPO
  • EMC
  • Greater Des Moines Partnership
  • Nationwide
  • Polk County
  • Principal Financial
  • Ruan Transportation
  • Unity Point
  • Voya Financial
  • Wellmark 
Schools (As of 2/4/2018) - All students, faculty and staff ride free by showing their school ID.
  • Drake University
  • Des Moines University
  • Grand View University

Des Moines Public School Students
Please contact your school offices to find out if you ride free to and from school. Outside of school hours, all students with a current school year ID ride free after 4 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends and school breaks. This includes all DART service except trips that cost is $3.50 or more. 

Polk County Students
Students of any school in Polk County are eligible to purchase Half Fare weekly or monthly passes with a current school year ID. Passes can be purchased at DART Central Station or at pass sales outlets. 

Veterans
All veterans ride DART free by showing one of the following valid IDs: Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital card, retired military service ID, Iowa license with veteran status, Veterans Identification Card or Veterans Affairs (VA) photo ID. 

For more information about the Reduced Fare Program for Work and School, call 515-283-8100 or visit DART Central Station at 620 Cherry Street, Des Moines.

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