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Pilot Program Aims to Make it Easier for New Iowans to Learn to Ride DART

June 7, 2018

A new pilot project aims to make it easier for refugees and immigrants to learn to ride DART. The project, which includes new signage and how-to-ride guides in multiple languages, is the result of nine months of work by participants in the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute’s Community Leadership Program. Participants in the program worked with the US Committee on Refugees and Immigrants and DART to evaluate the needs of new Iowans and how they could help make their experience better. Participants included: Dwana Bradley, Heather Brady, Breann Bye, Ana Coppola, Shannon Draayer, Bo James, Manish Shah, Evan Shaw, Amy Strutt, Jaclyn Wulfekuhle.

Signage Installation


First installation of new bus stop signage


10:30 a.m., Friday, June 8


Meet at 12th & University DART Bus Stop #3792


Media interested in covering the event should contact Erin Hockman, ehockman@ridedart.com, 515-283-8132

How-to-ride Pocket Guide

The how-to-ride guide is available in six of the most frequently used languages in addition to English: Arabic, Burmese, Karen, Nepali, Spanish, Swahili.

Signage Pilot

In addition to the pocket guides, additional signage is being tested on more than 30 bus stops along Route 3, which provides access to many essential services along the University Avenue corridor. The signs feature icons and maps to help riders better plan their trip.


“DART’s mission is enriching lives, connecting communities, and expanding opportunities. We hope that by making the bus system easier for refugees and immigrants to use, they are able to access the services and resources they need to successfully acclimate to their new home,” explained DART CEO Elizabeth Presutti.

“We are so grateful to this group of community leaders for their work in meeting the needs of our refugees and immigrants,” said Carly Ross, director of USCRI Des Moines. “Our goal is to help the world’s most vulnerable rebuild their lives, and transportation is essential to those we work with. The work of these leaders has helped make that easier.”

The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) is the public transportation provider in and around Polk County. DART operates a family of transportation services that connects thousands of people every day to jobs, school, medical appointments, entertainment and more. For more information about DART services, schedules, route changes, or directions to the nearest DART stop, visit the website at ridedart.com or call 515-283-8100.

The Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute develops, connects, inspires, and challenges community champions through life-changing leadership experiences. Since 1982, more than 2,000 leaders have graduated from the Leadership Institute’s programs.  Learn about the Leadership Institute by visiting gdmli.com.