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Residents: Use the DART D-Line To Explore Downtown Des Moines

Downtown Des Moines Transportation Shuttle

May 11, 2017

With all the exciting development in Downtown Des Moines (DSM), now is a great time to try new ways to get around our growing community. The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority, or DART, offers several options for public transportation in Downtown, including a free-to-ride shuttle, the D-Line.

About the D-Line

The D-Line travels east and west through Downtown DSM, providing service from the Iowa State Capitol to Western Gateway Park. The route provides access to several popular destinations, including the Historic Court District, Hy-Vee, the Des Moines Civic Center, Cowles Commons, the Pappajohn Sculpture Park and Historic East Village shops. New this season, the D-Line shuttle hours will be extended to start early at 7 a.m. on Saturday to accommodate Downtown Farmers' Market attendees!

The D-Line runs primarily on Grand Avenue and Locust Street, next to the majority of Downtown DSM employers and uses the Walnut Street Bridge to connect to the Historic East Village.

Bus stops are located on almost every block and marked specifically for the D-Line. Buses run approx. every 10 minutes, and riders can get on and off the bus at any of the 35+ stops Downtown. No fare is needed.

Hours of Service (Buses run approx. every 10 minutes.)


6:30 a.m.  – 6 p.m.


10 a.m.  – 5 p.m.

Downtown Farmers' Market Saturdays (May 6 – Oct. 28)

7 a.m.  – 5 p.m.

Where to Ride

Travel with ease throughout the workday — to lunch, meetings, grab coffee or run errands — using the D-Line shuttle in Downtown DSM. D-Line shuttles make the loop from the Iowa State Capitol complex to the west side of the Pappajohn Sculpture Park frequently so you can comfortably head from your office in the Historic East Village to lunch in Western Gateway Park. Shuttles arrive every 10 minutes so you can enjoy lunch and make it back to the office with time to spare!

On Saturdays, park your car and ride to your destination without having to find multiple parking spots when you switch destinations. The D-Line saves you time searching for parking at different locations and saves you money by allowing you to park farther from an event venue or restaurant without having to walk from that location. Make a day of it by attending the Des Moines Farmers' Market and then shopping in the Historic East Village. If you're attending a festival like the World Food and Music Festival on the Court Avenue Bridge, it's easy to continue your day Downtown with a stroll through Pappajohn Sculpture Park with so many D-Line stops along the shuttle's route.

Plan Your Trip

The D-Line route map can be found at ridedart.com under "Routes." You can also plan your trip on Google Maps by entering your trip details and clicking on the transit icon.

In addition, the RideTime mobile app shows you the closest bus stops to your location and exactly when your bus is coming by using GPS locations of the buses. Search "RideTime" on your Android, Apple or Windows phone.

Never Taken a Bus Before?

We know that sometimes the first time on a bus can be a bit intimidating! But several things about the D-Line make it easy for first time riders! There's no fare needed, so you don't have to worry about how to pay. And with the 10-minute frequency, you don't need to look at a schedule to see when the bus is coming. Here are a few quick pointers if you haven't taken the bus before:


  • Look for bus stops on Locust, Grand and Walnut Streets with these signs. 
  • Arrive at your bus stop three to five minutes early and wait where the driver can see you. 
  • Because the D-Line is a free-to-ride route, simply hop on the bus, find a seat and enjoy the ride.
  • Stay alert and remember to signal the driver about a block before your stop — you do this by pulling the cord above the window or pressing the stop button on the hand rails about a block before your stop.
  • If you are not sure where to get off, please ask the driver when you get on the bus. Our operators are happy to help you!

Have questions? Need more help? Visit ridedart.com or contact DART Customer Service at (515) 283-8100 or dart@ridedart.com.

Learn more about the Saturday Shuttle at the Downtown Farmers' Market!

Amanda Wanke

Amanda Wanke is the chief engagement and communications officer for the Des Moines Area Regional Transit (DART) and prior to that held key communications positions for the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota and representing a U.S. Congressman. She is part of the DART leadership team responsible for providing essential transportation services for the region's citizens, employers, schools and overall economic vitality.