Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not answered here, please get in touch.


1. How do I make a reservation? 

Call 1-877-686-0029 or email erides@ridehirta.com  (Boone, Jasper, Marion, Story and Warren Counties) Contracted providers in Dallas County 515-993-4531 and Madison County 515-462-1334 

HIRTA's phone systems places callers on hold as they wait for the next available scheduler to assist them. While on hold, DO NOT press any number until you are requested. Pressing numbers will push the call to the back of the call queue and make the wait longer to speak to a live person. After 10 minutes on hold (not pressing any numbers) there will be a prompt to follow. Either do nothing and leave a voice-message, or press 9 and continue to wait.

If you call before or after reservation hours and get a recording, leave a message so a HIRTA staff member may contact you. Drivers return calls if the bus is in service, but the office is closed. Drivers, however, do not schedule trips. 

2. How do I cancel a reservation? 

Call 1-877-686-0029 or email erides@ridehirta.com at least 1 hour in advance. Messages may also be left on voice-mail if calling after hours. 

3. How far in advance can I make a reservation?

24 hours to 14 days

4. How do we request a trip when we don't know the return time? 

'Will Call' services are offered to medical appointments for in-town trips on Monday thru Friday. Persons requesting a 'Will Call' trip may expect pickup delays up to 2 hours, however the average time for 'Will Call' pickups is 30 minutes. 'Will Call' pickup requests must be made before 4:00 PM.

5. What is the average time for a phone call reservation?

Average call length is 4 minutes and average wait time to assist you is 1 minute. The days and times with the lowest wait times are Tuesday thru Thursday from 9:00AM - 1:00PM. 

6. What hours is HIRTA's office open? 

7:00 AM - 4:30 PM. Reservations must be made by 3:00 PM for a next day trip.  

7. What hours and days does HIRTA provide service? 

Boone County:       Monday - Friday 6:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Jasper County:      Monday - Friday 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM 

City of Newton:      Monday - Friday 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM 

                                Saturday            8:00 AM - 6:00 PM 

                                Sunday              9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Marion County:     Monday - Friday 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM  

City of Knoxville:  Monday - Friday 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM 

City of Pella:         Monday-  Friday 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM

                               Saturday            9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 

                               Sunday              9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Story County:       Monday - Friday 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM   

City of Ames:        Monday - Friday  7:00 AM - 8:00 PM 

                               Saturday             7:30 AM - 6:00 PM 

                               Sunday               8:30 AM - 6:00 PM     

Warren County:    Monday - Friday 7:00 AM - 4:30 PM     

Hours are set by the contracted provider in Dallas and Madison County.                            

8. What are the current fares?

$2.00 in-town where the vehicles are located.

$4.00 within the county

$10.00 for specialty (Des Moines, Iowa City, etc.)   

Fares are set by the contracted provider in Dallas and Madison County.      

9. How do I pay for a trip? 
Cash, Check or HIRTA Bucks (only accepted in Boone, Jasper, Marion, Story and Warren counties). Exact fare is required, as drivers do not make change. 

10. Does HIRTA provide services on Holidays? 

HIRTA is closed on the following Holidays (some exceptions may apply).  New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Limited service is provided on the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. 

11. I left something on the bus, what do I do?

Call HIRTA at 1-877-686-0029 as soon as possible.  Items not claimed within 15 days will be donated to charity or discarded.

12. May I bring my pet on the bus?

HIRTA allows service animals, which include animals trained to work or perform tasks for or help a person live independently. If you have a special need for your pet (non-service animal), to ride, please call us at 1-877-686-0029 and we may be able to make special accommodations.

13. How many bags may I bring onto the bus?

You may carry on what can be stored within the area in which you are seated, and what can be carried in one trip. Multiple trips to carry items on and off the vehicles are not permitted. Packages handled by the driver shall not weigh more than 20 pounds each.  

14. Can children ride alone?

Children under the age of 3 years of age must be accompanied by an older child (12+) or an adult. If no adult is at the destination location to accept the child (under the age of 10), the child will NOT be left at the drop off location. HIRTA staff will attempt to make contact with the responsible party, and if no contact is made, drivers will be instructed to deliver the child to the local police station. If you need to make special arrangements for your children please contact us at 1-877-686-0029 and will discuss your individual situation.

15. I use a mobility device, is there anything I should know?      

Wheelchairs should be in good working order with functional brakes. Scooter users should transfer to a bus seat if possible. Scooters and electronic mobility devices must be powered down while the bus and the lift are in motion. For safety, drivers cannot push wheelchairs up or down unsafe inclines or over barriers. We may not be able to safely accommodate customers if their wheelchair or mobility device exceeds the following dimensions:         More than 30 inches wide or more than 48 inches long (measured 2 inches above the ground). Depending on 'lift limits', we may not be able to accommodate customers if the weight of their mobility device, when occupied, weighs more than 600 pounds. 

16. Can HIRTA make modifications to their service to accommodate me? 
Under the American Disability Act (ADA) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which took effect on July 13, 2015, HIRTA is required to make reasonable modifications or accommodations to our policies and practices, to ensure individuals with disabilities have equal access to HIRTA's transit programs and services. Request can be made through general customer service inquires by emailing erides@ridehirta.com or calling us at 1-877-686-0029 and making a request of the modification/accommodation that is needed in order to use HIRTA's service.  HIRTA may take up to 21 days to process an ADA Reasonable Modification request. 

17. How do I file a complaint? 
There are several ways you may file a complaint: 1) Call our Customer Service Department at 1-877-686-0029 and let them know of your concern/complaint. If they are unable to assist you, they will notify a supervisor.2) Complete a comment form that you may obtain from the driver on the bus and they will turn it into the HIRTA office for follow-up.   A Supervisor will research and conduct a follow-up phone call with you within 2 business days. 

Most complaints/concerns can be handled in this manner of communication, however, if you feel there needs to be a more formal complaint, especially if it violates Title VI or Reasonable Modifications request then proceed with the Formal (written) Complaint process with the HIRTA Executive Director by phone 1-877-686-0029 or in writing 2824 104th Street, Urbandale, IA 50322 or email jcastillo@ridehirta.com.  More information on our Title VI and/or Reasonable Modifications obligations may be found on our website www.ridehirta.com under tab Title VI. 

18. What is a pickup window? 
There is a 20 minutes pickup window (10 minutes before the pickup time and 10 minutes after the pickup time). This means a customer may be picked up anytime within that 20 minute window. It is each customers responsibility to be ready 10 minutes before their scheduled pickup time. 

19. What do I do if the bus is late? 
HIRTA vehicles experience the same traffic and weather conditions as the rest of the commuting public, occasionally, our buses may be late for pickup. If the vehicle has not arrived by the end of the 10 minute pickup window, call HIRTA at 1-877-686-0029. We will advise you of the status of the vehicle and when you may expect it's arrival. 

20. Is HIRTA available to do presentations or outreach? 
Yes. We love to educate community members, future riders, human service agencies or anyone else who wants to know about HIRTA and our services. Send an email to mobility@ridehirta.com or contact us at our toll free number 1-877-686-0029 and we will connect you to the right person.



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