Getting Around

Getting around in Des Moines is simple thanks to the Des Moines River, which flows through the centre of town and acts as an orienting landmark. Streets east of the river are prefixed with 'East', and those west of it have 'West' or no prefix at all. The streets are easy to navigate. However, driving in winter is not something to be attempted lightly, as snow and ice make conditions difficult for inexperienced winter drivers. The Des Moines Area Regional Transit (DART) system has a network of buses covering most of the city, and service that runs into the evening. There are several taxi companies available 24 hours, but cabs must be called in advance. Rideshare services include Lyft and Uber.


Des Moines International Airport

The airport is located five miles (8km) from downtown Des Moines.

Des Moines International Airport (DSM)


The airport is located five miles (8km) from downtown Des Moines.

Getting to the city

The Des Moines Area Transit Authority (DART) Route 8 offers service to and from the airport to downtown Des Moines. A one-way fare is $1.75. The Heart of Iowa Regional Transit Agency (HIRTA) provides door-to-door service to all counties within the Greater Des Moines Metro Area, while intercity connections can be made via the Greyhound, Jefferson, or Trailways bus lines. Car rental and taxi options are available.


GMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).

Car rental

Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Thrifty counters are located in the baggage claim area.

Airport Taxis

Metered taxis are available from the airport. Officially recommended companies include Capito and Yellow Cab. Both Uber and Lyft operate at the airport.


Facilities at the airport include restaurants, a food court, shops, a meet and greet area, ATMs, and conference rooms. Disabled facilities are good.


Several parking garages are located adjacent to the terminal, with rates starting at $1 per 20 minutes and $15 per day in the long-term parking lot, and $1 per 20 minutes or $36 per day for short-term parking. A free shuttle service operates from the economy lots, which offer lower rates starting from $2 per hour up to $6 per day. Cash and major credit cards are accepted.