Transportation & Parking


Des Moines International Airport is the closest airport to Ames--less than an hour drive.  It's a small market airport, so airfares are variable and can be high.  Some central Iowans prefer to fly through the larger, but more distant airports at Kansas City (4 hours) or Minneapolis-St. Paul (3 hours).


Executive Express shuttle service runs frequent trips from Des Moines airport to the ISU campus and Ames hotels;  reservations in advance are required.

The airport also has a full range of rental car options.

Ames has a great bus system for a small city.  The Red bus line runs east to downtown Ames along Lincoln Way, with a stop right across from the Memorial Union.  See the CyRide schedules for full details.


Guests staying at the Memorial Union can park in the adjacent parking deck for free;  others pay a variable fee of roughly $1/hour.  Entrances are from the south off of Lincoln Way and from the north off of Union Drive. 

The East Campus Parking Deck is located on Wallace Road off of Union Drive. Metered parking on the upper deck is $.25 for every 20 minutes.
Unless explicitly reserved, on-campus lots will have free parking after 5:30pm on weekdays and at all times on weekends. If you have questions about these, please contact our site manager, Erin Zimmerman at or 336-793-6421.

Between Scientists & Citizens Conference