DES MOINES, Iowa — The Des Moines City Council is considering whether to pay more than what the city can collect in property taxes to keep the Des Moines area regional transit authorities existing bus services, or make cuts to supplied services.

There is a proposed 40 percent reduction in public transit scheduled to take place over a 5-year term, following disagreements about if the city should pass a 2.5 percent franchise fee, which would affect taxes on gas and electric bills in order to keep DART fully funded.

The franchise fee would be necessary to continue DART down its current course accounting for city-wide growth.

The city will meet multiple times in advance of authorizing any permanent changes to the transit system, with the first round of cuts tentatively set for November 2024.

The council, however will host a series of public hearings and meetings in order to get input from residents and commuters.

The meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • Thursday, November 30, 6-7 p.m., Northwest Community Center (Ward 1)
  • Friday, December 1, Noon-1 p.m., virtual via Zoom
  • Monday, December 4, 6-7 p.m., East Side Library (Ward 2)
  • Wednesday, December 6, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Open House at DART Central Station
  • Thursday, December 7, 6-7 p.m., DMPS Kurtz Opportunity Center (Ward 3)
  • Tuesday, December 12, 6-7 p.m., Des Moines Area Religious Council (Ward 4)

Central Iowans can attend the aforementioned meetings or comment on the online forum.