Pay half the cost to ride DART

Half Fare Program

DART offers a Half Fare program for people to ride for about half the cost of regular bus fare.

Who is Eligible?

  • Adults 65 and older
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Refugees
  • Students

Ride to Thrive Program

Beginning July 1, 2022, DART’s Half Fare Pilot Program that began in January 2021, will become a permanent program known as Ride to Thrive. Acceptance in the program is good for two years with options to renew eligibility.

Who is Eligible?

  • Individuals receiving food assistance
  • Individuals receiving housing assistance
  • Individuals receiving workforce assistance

How to Enroll (or Re-Enroll) in DART's Half Fare or Ride to Thrive Program

  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. Individuals enrolling in the Half Fare program will need to fill out an enrollment form with their information. A Customer Service member will then review the form. This usually takes a few minutes unless more documentation is required. Students do not need to apply but can simply show a current school year ID to buy passes. 
  3. If approved, your photo will be taken and you will be given a Half Fare or Ride to Thrive program ID card with your name and photo. 
  4. Use this ID card to pay with cash on the bus or to buy a bus pass. Ask Customer Service to add half fare passes to your MyDART account if you are using the MyDART app to pay. 

Required Documents

When you go to DART Central Station to enroll in one of these programs and receive your fare ID 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 received 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.)


(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


  • 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. 

Individuals receiving food assistance

  • Bring a photo ID or other form of identification
  • Bring the Notice of Decision or Determination for Food Assistance mailed to you by the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Individuals receiving housing assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher

  • Bring a photo ID or other form of identification
  • Bring proof of receiving housing assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher.

Individuals receiving workforce assistance

  • Bring a photo ID or other form of identification
  • Bring a letter on official letterhead from participating organization showing proof that you are participating in a job training program.
  • OR, Bring the Unemployment Claim letter that Iowa Workforce Development sent you when you completed your unemployment application. This letter is printed on green paper, and is otherwise known as your “green sheet.”
  • OR, Bring the Notice of Decision or Determination for Childcare Assistance mailed to you by the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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