The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority will no longer be blocking seats on its buses, but is encouraging riders to continue to practice social distancing. DART announced in a news release today that beginning this week it would be removing chains and signs blocking seats on its buses and inside its Central Station lobby, to allow for more flexibility in social distancing. According to the release, DART is updating some of its protocols that were put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic as more people are getting vaccinated. Riders should continue to stay at least 6 feet apart, and bus drivers will monitor the number of riders to avoid overcrowding. Face masks are still required by federal mandate on public transit vehicles and at transit facilities, including while outdoors at DART Central Station waiting for a bus. DART will keep the plastic barriers between the fare boxes and the driver’s seat, provide hand sanitizer on all buses, and clean buses and all DART facilities throughout the day, among other measures, to keep riders and employees safe.