Transportation - Ames Economic Development Commission
Ames Map


Highways & Interstates

Near the crossroads of the nation, where I-35 and I-80 intersect, Ames is centrally located to all points north, south, east, and west. Interstate road systems place Ames less than a day's drive from Omaha, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Sioux Falls, Chicago, and St. Louis. Des Moines, Iowa's capitol city, is only 40 minutes away.

Distance from Ames Hours Miles
Des Moines, IA 36 min 34
Omaha, NE 2 hrs 36 min 169
Minneapolis, MN 3 hrs 15 min 214
Kansas City, MO 3 hrs 26 min 277
Sioux Falls, SD 4 hrs 26 min 299
Chicago, IL 5 hrs 39 min 357
St. Louis, MO 6 hrs 21 min 395
Source: Google Maps, 2011

AirAmes Airport

The Ames Municipal Airport is designed to serve corporate fleets and small private aircraft with a runway that is 5,700 feet long by 100 feet wide. The Ames Municipal airport provides services including aviation fuel sales, parking and hangars (for transient aircraft), flight instruction, hangar and aircraft rental, and more (Ames Municipal Airport, 2008).

Only 45 minutes away from Ames, the Des Moines International Airport offers services for commercial and charter transportation by airlines that include AirTran, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Continental, Delta, Frontier Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airway. Service to 17 non-stop destinations is provided daily to Atlanta, Austin, Branson, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Orlando, Phoenix, Tampa, and Washington D.C.

With over 2 million people using the Des Moines International Airport annualy, the airport provides services for business and leisure travelers, as well as cargo handling.
(Des Moines International Airport, 2011)


Union Pacific, the nation's largest railroad, has main lines that run across Iowa from east to west and north to south, with over 1,400 miles of track.  The east/west corridor provides a direct route from Chicago to the West Coast. The north/south "spine line" connects the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St.Paul to Des Moines and Kansas City. (Union Pacific, 2008)


Several local and area truck lines serve Ames. United Parcel Service and Federal Express have terminals in Ames.

Mass Transit

CyRide provides the Ames community with one of the best transportation systems in the nation. The city-wide bus system transports nearly 4.2 million people on its 66 buses and offers reliable and inexpensive transportation.

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