I Love My Daily Commute and the Reason Why Will Probably Surprise You
You will never find me sipping coffee during my daily commute, but I freely use my smartphone when traveling to work. I’m addicted to the game Words with Friends and need to make my moves in games that arrived overnight. No one seems to mind my preoccupation with the phone — and I do survey my surroundings occasionally. After all, my destination will eventually appear, and I’ll have to signal the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) bus driver to stop.
Several years ago, the Greater Des Moines Partnership challenged employers and workers to help reduce vehicle traffic in Downtown Des Moines (DSM). I felt I could make a difference and bought a bus pass to get started. Little did I know that I would become a dedicated DART passenger! Here’s why it was (and is) so easy to stay with it.
Leaving the car at home opened a world of cost savings and, believe it or not, freedom. Rather than feeling stranded at work all day, I learned to use the bus routes to my advantage. Drivers for the free D-Line shuttle and number 3, 60 and 15 delivered me to these destinations and more, even when a car was readily available on weekends.
I’ve taken the bus to:
- Commute to work.
- Business meetings.
- Intern interviews with Drake University students.
- Lunch dates.
- Medical and vision appointments.
- Connect with a charter bus to Ames.
- After hours events.
- Come from and return to the auto maintenance shop.
- Even attend a funeral.
Iowa State Fair shuttle
Every August, I hop on the Iowa State Fair shuttle. I take a regular bus route to the Park & Ride — traditionally toting this year’s vegetable contest entries — enjoy the Fair and go in reverse. No more hunting for my little black Toyota in a sea of cars, SUVs and trucks.
Bus trip scheduling and payment today offers a whole new layer of convenience and control, including RideDART.com, texting DART for the next bus arrival, pre-loaded bus fare through the MyDART app and the new rider instructions posted at the bus stops.
I would have to say I have found my DART sweet spot! Is yours waiting to be discovered?
Transit plays a vital role for growth, development and economic success. The Transit Future Work Group is made up of Greater Des Moines (DSM) business, community and civic leaders who proactively identify opportunities for increased public mobility options in the region.
Marlena Bandurski is vice president of research at the Greater Des Moines Partnership and a lifelong resident of Greater Des Moines (DSM).