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Title: CyRide  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Iowa State University, Fresno Area Express, Carver Hall, Alumni Center (Iowa State University), Iowa State University College of Human Sciences
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Founded 1976
Headquarters 1700 University Boulevard
Ames, IA 50014
Locale Ames, Iowa
Service area Ames, Iowa,
Iowa State University
Service type Intracity bus service
Routes 12
Stops Over 425[1]
Fleet 93[2]
Daily ridership 18,135 (FY2014)[2]
Operator City of Ames
Iowa State University
Website Official Website

CyRide is a partnership between Iowa State University, the ISU Government of the Student Body, and Ames, Iowa. CyRide provides public transportation to the community throughout the city of Ames. The word CyRide is a portmanteau of two words: Cyclone (which is the mascot of the Iowa State Cyclones) and the word ride. In January 2012, CyRide was recognized "as the nation’s small urban transit system with the highest number of rides per capita" at 106 rides per capita.[3]


From the 1860s until the early 1890 college students were taxied to and from campus by a horse-drawn carriage that was operated by brothers, Nichols and Maxwell Livery. The town committee published a report on November 1, 1890 stating that there would be a benefit to create a railroad to replace the current system.[4]

On July 4, 1892, the rail line, named the dinkey (given by the size of the engine) departed from its barn on the east end of 5th street, for its first 2-mile (3.2 km) trip to the Iowa State University campus.[4] The dinkey ran on 30 lb/yd (15 kg/m) rail; that is small compared to the 136 lb/yd (67 kg/m) rail that is used today. The dinkey had three passenger cars that were often at maximum capacity because of the growing population of the city.

In 1929, the dinkey was replaced by a bus system that transported passengers to and from the Iowa State University.[5] In 1976 all operating buses were combined and CyRide was started as a city department. In 1981 Bob Bourne was the director of CyRide. He brought CyRide from a 12 bus, 3 route system to a 65 bus, 11 route system in his 25 years of employment at CyRide.[6]


Route Number Route Starting Terminal Ending Terminal Major Streets traveled
Red South & West[7]
North Grand Mall Ames Middle School Mortensen Road, Lincoln Way, Duff Avenue
Red East[7]
Ames Middle School North Grand Mall Mortensen Road, Lincoln Way, Duff Avenue
Green South & West[7]
North Grand Mall Ontario St. & California Ave. Ontario St., Hyland Ave, 6th Street, Grand Avenue
Green East & North[7]
Ontario St. & California Ave. North Grand Mall Ontario St., Hyland Ave, 6th Street, Grand Avenue
Blue South[7]
North Grand Mall South Duff & 5th Street South 4th Street, Beach Avenue, Stange Road, 24th Street
Blue North[7]
Birch River Apartments North Grand Mall South 4th Street, Beach Avenue, Stange Road, 24th Street
South East 16th St. & South Dayton Kildee Hall Beach Ave., S. 4th St., S. 16th St.,S. Bell Ave.
Jewel/S. Duff Kildee Hall Beach Ave., S. 4th St., S. 16th St., S. Duff Ave.
City Hall City Hall South Duff, Lincoln Way
Brown South[7]
North Grand Mall ISU Research Park University Blvd, Mortensen Parkway, Welch Avenue
Stange Road, Bloomington Road
Brown North[7]
ISU Research Park North Grand Mall University Blvd, Mortensen Parkway, Welch Avenue
Stange Road, Bloomington Road
Towers Shuttle[7]
Storm/Welch Storm/Welch Welch Ave.
North Grand Mall North Grand Mall Campus, Stange Road, Bloomington Road
Mortensen Rd. Osborn Dr. South Dakota, Lincoln Way, Union Dr.
City Hall Eastgate Dr. at Philadelphia St. Lincoln Way, Dayton Ave.
Frederiksen Court Frederiksen Court Stange Road, Osborn Drive, Union Drive
Ash Ave. & Sunset Dr. Spedding Hall Pammel Drive, Lynn Avenue, Wallace Road
Veterinary Medicine Building Osborn Dr. Wallace Road, Osborn Dr. South East 16th St.


Iowa State Students

Students of Iowa State University are able to ride CyRide without paying the normal fare by presenting the bus driver with their Iowa State identification card. This is necessary on all bus routes except the Gold, Cardinal, and Orange Routes which always allow passengers to travel without charge. Iowa State University charges a fee each semester to all students for CyRide service. This student fee is paid to CyRide to subsidize the cost of operations.

An ISU Card allows students to board any bus for free
Reduced Fare Riders

To qualify for reduced fare, you must be a student in grades K-12, a senior citizen, or a person with a disability. The reduced Fare is .60 US Dollar for a one way trip. Multiple tickets can be purchased at a time if a ticket book is purchased in advance. Reduced fare ticket books come in a packet of 10 which cost 6 US Dollars. Ticket books can be bought at local grocery stores, Ames city hall, and CyRide headquarters.

Full Fare Riders

Full Fare Riders covers everyone else who is riding. The regular fare is 1.25 US Dollar. Full fare riders can also purchase multiple tickets in advance. Ticket books come in a packet of 10 which cost 12 dollars. Ticket books can also be bought at local grocery stores, Ames city hall, and CyRide headquarters.

Children Under Five

Children under the age of five are free with an accompanying adult. There may be no more than three children per adult.

Additional Services

Moonlight Express

In 1984 Cyride started to operate a Friday and Saturday nights service called Moonlight Express which has been dubbed “the drunk bus” by students.[8] This system was put into service to allow students to socialize with their friends while offering a safe alternative to driving while impaired. Between the hours of 10:30 pm to 2:30 am the moonlight express will stop at any stop along a moonlight route stop.

In the time Moonlight Express has been running, there have been no drunk-driving fatalities in Ames during its hours of operation.

Cyride Moonlight Information


Dial-A-Ride is a door-to-door service that caters mostly to elderly and disabled persons. This service take people within ¾ mile from any fixed Cyride route. A Dial-A-Ride rides need to be scheduled the day before to ensure a spot. In 2005 Dial-A-Ride was turned over to the Heart of Iowa Regional Transit Authority (HIRTA) which is operated out of the Heartland Senior Services site in the Ames area.


CyRide is considering bringing a "fare-free" system to all Ames residents. CyRide currently receives 270,000 dollars from paid fares that will have to be compenstated for some other way[9]

In 2009 CyRide was one of 42 applicants to receive a TIGER grant through the Federal Transit Administration. This allowed them to purchase 12 new Hybrid buses at a cost of $6 million. The new buses - dubbed 'Cybrids' - will get an estimated 6 mpg. The current fleet averages about 4.5 mpg fuel efficiency.[10]


  • 2002 APTA Gold Safety Award Finalist
  • 1999 APTA Neil E. Goldschmidt Silver Safety Award Finalist
  • 1997 APTA Neil E. Goldschmidt Silver Safety Award Winner
  • 1996 APTA AdWheels Award Winner
  • 1995 APTA Neil E. Goldschmidt Silver Safety Award Winner
  • 1993 APTA Neil E. Goldschmidt Silver Safety Award Finalist
  • 1992 Public Risk Management Administration Achievement Award
  • 1991 APTA Neil E. Goldschmidt Silver Safety Award Finalist
  • 1989 UMTA Outstanding Public Service Award
  • 1989 UMTA Administrator's Award[11]
  • 1983 All America City Award
  • 15 State Bus Roadeo Winners (as of June 2006)
  • 2nd place in the 35' bus division at the 2004 APTA International Bus Roadeo
  • 5th place in the 35' bus division at the 2007 APTA International Bus Roadeo


  1. ^ Cyride. "Signals". June, 2013. Retrieved December 2013.
  2. ^ a b CyRide. Statistics. Retrieved December. 2014.
  3. ^ Cyride. "Signals". January, 2012. Retrieved December 2013.
  4. ^ a b Ames & College Railway Dinkey
  5. ^ Dinkey Timeline
  6. ^ Borne Transit
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Today's Routes
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Borne Transit
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