The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) bus system lags slightly behind other Midwestern cities according to a Brookings Institution study published July 11. The study looked at on how well public transit connects employers to the labor pool in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas.

The Des Moines metro area ranked 72nd in terms of  the percentage of employers in areas covered by public transit. Des Moines ranked 14th in terms of providing transit commutes of 90 minutes or less to those jobs.

According to study author Adie Tomer: “DART’s network is not incredibly expansive, but where it goes connects jobs to people. The question for Des Moines moving forward is: How can DART’s service area continue to expand while maintaining, if not improving, the service?”

Gunnar Olson, public information officer for DART, said the agency believes it’s doing a good job of connecting workers with jobs, but improving in that area is a key aspect of its DART Forward 2035 blueprint for expansion. He said the plan will expand suburban routes and cut transit times by reducing the number of riders who need to travel all the way downtown to change buses.