Major Highway Systems of Des Moines

There are many ways to access the city of Des Moines, Iowa, and in this article, we won’t just describe the roads, but the other ways to access the city as well, such as its skywalk system, public transit system, as well as Amtrak.

Des Moines has an extensive skywalk system within its downtown core. With over four miles of an enclosed walkway, it is one of the largest of such systems in the United States. The Des Moines Skywalk System has been criticized for hurting street-level business, though a recent initiative has been made to make street-level Skywalk entrances more visible.

Interstate 235 (I-235) cuts through the city, and I-35 and I-80 both pass through the Des Moines metropolitan area, as well as the city of Des Moines. On the northern side of the city of Des Moines and passing through the cities of Altoona, Clive, Johnston, Urbandale and West Des Moines, I-35 and I-80 converge into a long concurrency while I-235 takes a direct route through Des Moines, Windsor Heights, and West Des Moines before meeting up with I-35 and I-80 on the western edge of the metro. The Des Moines Bypass passes south and east of the city. Other routes in and around the city include US 6, US 69, Iowa 28, Iowa 141, Iowa 163, Iowa 330, and Iowa 415.

Des Moines’s public transit system, operated by DART (Des Moines Area Regional Transit), which was the Des Moines Metropolitan Transit Authority until October 2006, consists entirely of buses, including regular in-city routes and express and commuter buses to outlying suburban areas. In 2008, a light rail system was proposed for Des Moines, but, as of July 2017, it has not received funding or popular support.

Characteristics of household ownership of cars in Des Moines are similar to national averages. In 2015, 8.5 percent of Des Moines households lacked a car, and increased to 9.6 percent in 2016. The national average was 8.7 percent in 2016. Des Moines averaged 1.71 cars per household in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8.

Burlington Trailways, Jefferson Lines, and Megabus run long-distance, inter-city bus routes through Des Moines.

Although Des Moines was historically a train hub, it does not have passenger train service. For east-west traffic, it was served by The Rock Island’s Corn Belt Rocket express from Omaha to the west, to Chicago in the east. The Rock Island also offered the Twin Star Rocket to Minneapolis to the north and Dallas and Houston to the south. Northward and northwest bound, there were Chicago and North Western trains to destinations including Minneapolis. The Wabash Railroad ran service to the southeast to St. Louis.

The nearest Amtrak station is Osceola, about 40 miles (64 km) south of Des Moines, with no connecting Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach. Osceola is served by the California Zephyr, running between Chicago and Emeryville, CA. There have been proposals to extend the as-of-July-2017-upcoming Quad Cities Amtrak service along the Iowa Interstate Railroad main line to Des Moines proper.

Sports Teams of Des Moines