NOTICE FOR CUSTOMERS: DART now requires Bus Plus customers to submit a new application to recertify their Bus Plus status every three years, or whenever the certification expires (ex: temporary disability status). Bus Plus customers will be notified of the recertification requirements by receiving a letter in the mail from DART. To avoid service interruption, DART must receive a new application from customers within 60 days of the date printed on the recertification letter. Letters will be mailed out in alphabetical order, beginning February 2024 through July 2025. Please read our FAQ for more information.
Through its Paratransit services, DART provides transportation for people who have a disability. All Paratransit service is door-to-door and wheelchair accessible transportation is available for those in need. The fleet is comprised of DART vehicles and taxi cabs. DART's contracted taxi provider may be assigned to service your travel. Customers should be ready to board either vehicle at the beginning of their pickup window.
Bus Plus Eligibility & Enrollment
Bus Plus is DART Paratransit’s ADA door-to-door supportive service for riders with a disability. Riders interested in enrolling must apply to use the service, which includes verification from a medical provider or another qualified professional. Once approved, riders may travel within the Bus Plus Service Area (see map below) for any reason and must pay a fare for each ride they take. Bus Plus fare is $3.50 per trip within the Base Service Zone and $30 per trip within the Premium Service Zone.
To start the eligibility process, fill out a DART Bus Service Eligibility Form. This form is available through the links below and must be submitted to DART's Paratransit Department, which will review the application and mail back the results within 21 days. Of note, the form includes a verification section for new enrollees to be completed by a medical provider or another qualified professional (effective July 1, 2023).
- DART Bus Service Eligibility Form (English)
- DART Bus Service Eligibility Form (Spanish)
- DART Bus Service Eligibility Form (Arabic)
- DART Bus Service Eligibility Form (Vietnamese)
Once completed, the Bus Plus Eligibility Form can be returned several ways:
In-person at the Customer Service window at DART Central Station, 620 Cherry Street, Des Moines
Email to email@example.com
Fax to DART Customer Service at 515-283-8103
Mail to Attn: DART Customer Service, 620 Cherry Street, Des Moines, IA 50309
As needed, DART can help new Bus Plus applicants find a medical or other qualified professional to verify their disability status for the application. Call 515-283-8100 to speak to DART Customer Service. More information about existing Bus Plus customer recertification will be shared by early 2024.
Approved Bus Plus customers now have free access to utilize DART’s Fixed Route services (effective Nov. 1, 2023), which includes Local Routes and Express Routes. Bus Plus riders will need to show a Bus Plus ID confirming their eligibility to utilize the Fixed Route service at no-charge, and should contact DART Paratransit at 515-283-8136 to initiate their request for a Bus Plus ID.
DART Paratransit operates service with comparable hours to DART’s Fixed Route bus service. Typically, the service is available 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. Actual times may vary depending on your trip locations. Additionally, holiday hours may apply.
Click on the map image below to expand:
Frequently Asked Questions
Learn more about DART Paratransit's Bus Plus services by reviewing these frequently asked questions (FAQ).
Other Contracted Services
DART Paratransit partners with Polk County, Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) and other organizations and agencies to provide contracted trips for which the agency approves the person’s trip.
Polk County Service Details: The partnership with Polk County allows low-income disabled citizens 18 and older to apply for service for trips to medical appointments, the grocery store and a once-a-month miscellaneous trip. Income eligible dialysis patients who have no transportation may also apply. To check on eligibility and/or apply for this service, call Polk County at 515-286-3484. If approved, the customer rides DART Paratransit at no charge. The funding agency may restrict the rider to certain types of transportation, such as medical appointments, work or grocery shopping. Polk County Adult Services does not fund employment or school transportation.
Request for service can be made by calling DART Customer Service at 515-283-8136 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Reservations for Sunday and Monday travel can be made on Saturday and Sunday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. by calling 515-283-8147 and leaving a voicemail message with the client name, contact number, and trip details. DART staff will return the passenger's call to schedule a trip. Reservations will be accepted up to seven (7) days prior to the trip date. Passengers can schedule a trip up to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 4 p.m. on weekends the day before the trip date.
The following information must be ready when contacting Customer Service to make a reservation:
- The addresses where the trip will start and where it will end.
- The requested pick up time or needed arrival time.
- Any special instructions such as wheelchair accessibility, assistance needs or if a personal care attendant (PCA) will be traveling on the trip.
For Bus Plus trips in the Base Service Zone:
- Reservations will be accepted up to seven (7) days prior to the trip date.
- Passengers can schedule a trip up to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 4 p.m. on weekends the day before the trip date.
For Bus Plus trips within the Premium Service Zone:
- Premium trips can be booked 48 hours prior to the requested trip time or up to five (5) days in advance.
- Premium trips will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis, however DART’s priority will be to service ADA trips first.
- Premium trips are not ADA protected and therefore are not guaranteed.
Driver assistance is available for Bus Plus trips. The following rules apply to this assistance:
- Assistance will be provided from the door of the house or building to the bus and back.
- The driver will not be able to help passengers with non-transportation requests such as helping put on a coat or locking a door.
- Driver assistance with a mobility device on steps is not guaranteed and will be limited to a maximum of two steps. This service is based on the size of the passenger, the height of the step and the driver’s ability.
- Assistance is to the first door only.
- Please limit packages or bags to what you can carry on board in one boarding trip and you can keep in control while the bus is in motion. Bags or packages should not block the aisle. You may request the driver’s assistance loading and unloading packages or bags. Packages or bags should weigh no more than 15 pounds.
- When a family member or other individual is available, they will be expected to provide assistance rather than the driver.
Traveling Companion and Personal Care Attendant (PCA)
A companion may ride with a customer if there is space available on the vehicle. Companions must pay the same fare as the eligible Bus Plus customer. If a customer cannot travel alone due to a disability, a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) may ride with the customer. The customer must be approved for service prior to taking the trip. The attendant will not be charged a fare.
Bus Plus Policies
Drivers have to keep a schedule, therefore, they will wait a maximum of five (5) minutes after the scheduled pick-up time. Customers must be ready and watching at their scheduled pick-up time, or they may miss the bus or taxi. A second vehicle will not be sent.
When customers cancel, or do not show up when they have scheduled a trip, service to others is impacted. A trip is considered a “canceled trip” when a customer calls prior to 4 p.m. the day before the trip, or at least one hour before the scheduled pick-up time. A trip is considered a “no show” when a customer fails to take a trip or calls less than one hour prior to the scheduled pick-up time. Repeated “no shows” may result in a penalty.
During the winter, service will operate any time the Fixed Route bus service operates. However, because the Paratransit/Bus Plus service operates on side streets that may not be cleared, staff may need to notify customers if a bus or taxi is unable to get to them. Drivers will assist customers when the walks are cleared of snow and ice. It is a customer’s responsibility to have walks cleared.
Some customers may be able to use the Local Route bus service if they were provided transportation to a bus stop. In these cases, the Paratransit/Bus Plus service will pick the customers up at their curb and take them to a bus stop, where they will need to transfer to the Local Route bus service to complete their trip.
- Paratransit/Bus Plus Policies - English
- Paratransit/Bus Plus Policies - Spanish
- Paratransit/Bus Plus Policies - Arabic
- Paratransit/Bus Plus Policies - Vietnamese
Visitors with disabilities who cannot use the regular Fixed Route system are eligible to utilize DART Paratransit as a service. The visitor may be asked to provide to DART certain documentation to verify eligibility, nature of their disability, and/or residence. If the visitor has been certified as “ADA paratransit eligible” by a public transit provider, DART Bus Plus will honor the approval and will provide up to twenty-one (21) days of visitor ADA complementary paratransit service during a 365-day period. If visitors have not been certified as eligible by another public entity but claim they are ADA paratransit eligible, they will be allowed “presumptive eligibility” and shall be provided with up to 21 consecutive days of paratransit service.
Individuals who are denied eligibility to DART Paratransit's Bus Plus service may consider pursuing an appeal through DART's formal process. The appeal must be pursued within 60 days from the notification date listed on your eligibility evaluation form. The appeal process, including step-by-step instructions, is available here.
Reasonable Modification Policy
DART follows all requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including amendments to clarify existing rules under 49 CFR Part 27 and 37 implemented on July 13, 2015. Per the new guidelines, DART has established the following policy and procedures for considering reasonable modifications to DART policies and practices.
To review the full policy, click here.
To request a reasonable modification, either:
- Complete and submit the online form below or
- Click here to view or download the PDF. This form may be submitted via email after completing the fields in the electronic PDF form.