FOR TRANSIT SERVICE, CALL: 1-800-BUS-RIDE
FOR LOCAL DART BUS SERVICE, CALL: 515-573-8145
Welcome to the MIDAS Transit System. Our goal is to provide safe, reliable, dependable, courteous, and affordable public transportation.MIDAS provides direct service to a 5-county area. Counties served are: Pocahontas, Humboldt, Hamilton, Calhoun and Webster counties. MIDAS provides brokered service to Wright County through Wright County Economic Development. All of our buses are ADA-accessible,
and all trips are open to the public.
MIDAS Transit employs 34 people in Fort Dodge and 30 people in the remaining region ranging from the age of 23 to 80. In addition to the Transit Manager, there are three dispatchers, two mechanics, and the rest are drivers. All dispatching takes place in the Fort Dodge Office using Route Match Software to schedule trips for all of the systems. Over the past 3 years, DOT and MIDAS have been working to implement a variety of Route Match Transit Software. Last year, Fort Dodge implemented the Fixed Route Package, which can tell if a driver left his route, where a bus is sitting too long, and if a bus is on time or running late. All of the vehicles have on-board devices called Rangers that display the next scheduled stop and passengers to be picked up or dropped off, records arrival and departure time, and fares collected. All of this data is transmitted via cellular technology to the main dispatch system located in Fort Dodge.
MIDAS owns and operates the Regional Transit Administration (RTA) Region 5 System. These buses are located in each MIDAS county. The buses in Pocahontas, Humboldt, Calhoun, and Hamilton County each have their own unique identity and are managed by an Operation Supervisor who reports to the MIDAS Operations Manager.
MIDAS operates the City of Fort Dodge-owned DART bus system. MIDAS has a contract with the City of Fort Dodge to provide the management and operation of the of the DART system. This contract has been in place since October of 1996.
Finally, MIDAS operates four buses for local Head Start Agencies – three in Fort Dodge and one in Humboldt. Other Head Start students are transported in MIDAS-owned buses.
MIDAS provides public transit bus service to four of the six MIDAS counties, and brokers service to Wright County through Wright County Economic Development Office. Service in the sixth county (Webster) is provided by the City of Fort Dodge’s DART bus system. All county service is primarily demand-response service, with some limited contract route service also being provided. Total RTA rides for FY 14 were 200,884.
- Hamilton County - The system in Hamilton County is known as HARIDES (for Hamilton Rides). This system is managed by Mike Parrish, who is the Operations Supervisor. HARIDES has a total of 5 vehicles and 3 full time drivers and 2 fill in part time drivers. This is a demand response system. The people of Webster City call Fort Dodge to schedule their rides. The vehicles are all ADA-accessible and have on-board cameras. The fare schedule is $2.50 each way for an adult and $2.00 for a Student/Senior.
- Humboldt County - Co-City is the name of the Humboldt County Public Transit System. Mike Cassidy is the Operations Supervisor for this system. Co-City is primarily a demand response system, with 10 public transit vehicles, 1 Head Start Bus, and 12 drivers. Fort Dodge handles ride reservations for this system. The Co-City bus transports workers to Jet Company from the Rockwell City Prison for 3 shifts a day Monday through Friday. This system provides approximately 64,681 rides per year.
- Pocahontas County - Mike Parrish is also the Operations Supervisor for Pocahontas Area Transit System (PATS), which is MIDAS' smallest transit system. PATS has a total of 3 vehicles and 4 drivers. Pocahontas is also a demand response system, and scheduling is done through the Fort Dodge Office. Pocahontas vehicles are also equipped with cameras and are ADA-accessible. Pocahontas just recently received a new bus sponsored by the Pocahontas Hospital and Trimark for the transportation of their patients to and from medical appointments. This system provides approximately 13,923 rides per year.
- Calhoun County - The Calhoun Area Transit System (CATS) is managed by Mike Parrish as Operations Supervisor. CATS is a small system, but buses are garaged all over Calhoun County. This system, consisting of 11 vehicles and 6 drivers, has buses housed in Rockwell City, Pomeroy, Manson, and Lake City. These vehicles are also ADA-accessible and have on-board cameras, Mobile Data Terminals, and are scheduled through the Fort Dodge Office.
The DART (Dodger Area Rapid Transit) Bus System is housed in the City of Fort Dodge at 530 1st Ave South. DART is managed by MIDAS Council of Governments on behalf of the City of Fort Dodge. DART has a fleet of 21 accessible buses. These buses are all equipped with Mobile Data Terminals that are used to transmit rider pick-up and drop-off schedules to drivers, and to record arrival, departure, and payment times. DART buses are also being equipped with on-board cameras, as new buses are added to the fleet. All fixed route buses have cameras installed.
DART runs 6 fixed routes during week-days to all corners of the City from 7 a.m. through 6 p.m. This is a flagging system, meaning riders stand along the route and signal to the bus they would like to be picked up. All routes run every half hour from 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., with alternating routes in the middle of the day and 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. There is no fixed route service on week-ends.
There are also 3 paratransit vehicles that provide door-to-door service 5 days a week and for 4 hours on Saturday. This service is for riders who are unable to ride the fixed route system as verified by a doctor.
During the school year, DART also maintains and drives 3 Head Start vehicles 5 days a week for Y.O.U.R. Inc. Since some of these buses are yellow school buses, drivers of these vehicles must meet all school bus operator requirements.
DART employs 21 drivers, 3 full time mechanics, 3 full time dispatchers and 2 part time dispatcher/drivers.
DART fares vary by the service. The fixed route price is $1.50 for adults and $1.25 for students and senior citizens that have filled out a form and received a senior fare card. Adult passes are sold from the first day of the month to the last day of the month for $37.00, with a student/senior pass costing $21.25. The paratransit door-to-door service is $2.50 each way if the appointment is made 24 hours in advance. Same day service is available provided there are times available on the paratransit vehicles. Fare for same day service is $3.50 each way.
DART provides approximately 232,000 rides per year and travels an average of 321,404 miles.
MIDAS is one of a very few Iowa public transit agencies that provides feeder service to an Inter-City Bus Lines. The service is offered through DART bus, and plays a vital role in economic development and quality of life for area residents. Businesses such as the various Fort Dodge trucking companies use this service to move employees into and out of Fort Dodge. Iowa Central Community College students, released prisoners from the Fort Dodge and Rockwell City Prisons, and seniors are other groups that frequently use this service.
DART works with Jefferson Lines as both a ticket agent and a carrier on our feeder route. DART sells tickets and transports passengers for Jefferson Lines 7 days a week, 365 days a year. A DART bus goes to the Flying J at the Intersection of I35 and Highway 20 to take passengers to meet a North bound and a South bound Jefferson Lines bus. This bus leaves Fort Dodge daily at 9:45 and returns to Fort Dodge at 2:00 PM. Advance reservations are not required.
Jefferson Lines connects with Greyhound Bus and sells tickets to Canada and Mexico. Jefferson also sells what is called a prepaid ticket. This service allows a person in one location to purchase a ticket (called a “PTO”) for a nominal extra fee and have that ticket waiting for the passenger at the closest local bus station wherever he or she is located. The passenger needing to travel simply shows up at the departure depot with a confirmation number or show their picture ID and collect their ticket and they are on their way. One popular feature about a PTO is the only person who can get a refund is the person who buys it at the station where they purchase it.
DART will provide pick-up and drop-off at the passenger’s door (if within the City limits) for an additional fee of $2.50. This avoids the need to get a ride to the bus depot or to have to park a car in the DART lot for extended periods of time. The Jefferson Lines service provides approximately 3,000 rides and travels 33,000 miles per year. DART receives a commission from Jefferson Lines to provide this service every month.