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Partners sign off on shuttle routes


The Des Moines Metropolitan Transit Authority continues to move forward with plans to implement a shuttle system to better connect downtown residents, employees and visitors to homes, offices and downtown attractions.

The task at hand now is to develop a marketable product and gather the funds to get it off the ground.

The MTA and its partners on the project – the Downtown Community Alliance, the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau and the city of Des Moines – have reviewed and accepted shuttle routes established by the Downtown Shuttle Advisory Committee, though modifications will likely be made based on development patterns, according to Brian Litchfield, director of program development for the MTA.

The shuttle committee has approved preferred alternatives for two routes. One would run east and west and connect Gateway West and Meredith Corp. headquarters to the state Capitol complex. The second would run north and south and connect passengers to destinations such as the Iowa Events Center and Principal Park.

Litchfield said shuttle service will likely be implemented in the spring of 2007, which will allow for the MTA to apply for grant funding in July 2006. The city, the DCA and the CVB will also use the time to raise funds locally that will match the grant, which will cover a major portion of system’s operating costs.

The MTA and its partners will also begin work to develop event-specific shuttles as a way to introduce the shuttle system downtown. The committee will begin to develop a marketing plan to include elements such as maps and vehicle design.

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