Transportation is connected to everything we do, whether it’s working, attending class, running errands, going to medical appointments, or building social connections. Therefore, having a cost-effective method of transportation and ease of mobility are crucial to getting people from home, school, or work and back so they can earn enough to thrive. 



This work group has brought together multiple interests, coalitions, and organizations who have been looking at how to better connect human service agencies and transportation providers. This group is focused on improving mobility options for individuals in need, whether they are using public, private, or pedestrian modes of transportation.


One of the goals of OpportUNITY is to work collaboratively and efficiently in central Iowa. There are many groups trying to build and enhance our transportation system for all. The TAG, or the Transportation Advisory Group, is a Committee of transportation providers, human service agencies, state and local government agencies, health care providers, and other interested stakeholders that work to coordinate human service transportation in central Iowa.

After a meeting between the TAG and OpportUNITY transportation groups, it became clear that our goals and vision for our community were the same. Instead of continuing to operate in silos, in March 2018, the TAG and the OpportUNITY transportation work group combined. This coordination means increased impact, reduced redundancy, and broader reach.




1. Develop pilot program to improve student attendance at Hiatt Middle School.

  • Provided unlimited free rides to all students attending Hiatt through pilot with Des Moines Public Schools and United Way. Funded by United Way of Central Iowa, the pilot program will evaluate if transit access improves student attendance.

2. Partner with DART to identify additional bus lines needed to support community.

  • Added Saturday D-Line service in 2016 for two years, thanks to a partnership between DART and the City of Des Moines.
  • Added Route 10 in November 2016, providing transit service to the new Broadlawns Clinic on East University, as well as midday service to Pleasant Hill.

3. Identify strategies to help make bus travel more passenger-focused.

  • Offering free Wi-Fi on all DART buses.

4. Partner with DART to address transportation desert to remove barrier for travel related to jobs, medical, etc.

  • Increased service to Deer Ridge apartments through DART to enable refugee residents to travel to jobs, medical appointments, and other essential services.

5. Support evaluation of transit.

  • Completed Community Regional Transit funding evaluation.




1. Increase awareness, education, and trainings on how to access the public transportation system in central Iowa.

  • Establish and implement One Click, One Call to enable customers to make one phone call or search one website to receive information about all transportation services available in the community.
  • Increase passenger transportation, driver health, and safety trainings.
  • Work with volunteer organization to recruit and train volunteer drivers.

2. Partner with private companies to provide additional transportation resources/options to those who are in need in our community.

  • Hold focus groups with private companies to address unmet needs in their services, including wheelchair access, timeliness of services, and affordability.

3. Establish ways to consider safety, access, and equity across our transportation system in central Iowa.

  • Conduct unmet needs assessments for each county.
  • Promote complete streets to increase safety to and from stops.
  • Ensure that communication methods reach non-English speaking populations and those without smartphones and internet access.
  • Create and combine Mobility Management Access Plan and Transportation Resource Guide, and other documents, to have one complete guide.