Des Moines MPO awards Carbon Reduction Program funding to transit

Des Moines MPO awards Carbon Reduction Program funding to transit Image credit: Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority

The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Policy Committee has awarded the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) $3.6 million from its Carbon Reduction Program allowing the organization to purchase buses and use more federal funds for operating expenses. 

The one-time MPO funds will cover two funding gaps. One gap is due to operating costs rising faster than property tax revenues. The other is due to the city of Des Moines, Iowa, contribution to DART increasing under a new formula adopted by the DART Commission, which aligns how much each member community contributes with the level of services received.  

The DART Commission voted to use the equivalent amount of federal funds to fill a budget gap and to maintain services for two years while planning for longer-term stability. The Commission will have until December 2025 to determine funding and service levels for the regional transit system to address both funding gaps ahead of the FY 2027 budget. By that point, DART will have a $4.7 million shortfall due to funding formula implementation as well as a $2 million budget gap based on current service levels and property tax commitments. 

DART will make $500,000 in administrative expense cuts in FY 2025 to balance its budget, which the agency says will likely include eliminating onboard Wi-Fi, reducing customer service hours and other administrative and customer amenity changes that will be finalized as part of a detailed budget DART staff will present to the commission in June. In addition, DART expects to consider eliminating the D Line due to low ridership and some funding sources specific to that service not continuing.

Source: Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority