Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Airport Transportation Services

Shuttle Transportation

FGC will be coordinating shuttle service to the Gathering from the Des Moines (DSM) airport and the Ottumwa Amtrak station. Gathering vans will only arrive and depart on specific dates and times.

The deadline for shuttle reservations is Monday, June 10. You will be able to register and pay for your shuttle via your Gathering registration. If you do not know your transportation details when you register for the Gathering, you will be able to go back into your registration and add a shuttle before June 10. There are no refunds on shuttles after June 10.

Shuttle Arrivals

  • Arrival vans from the Des Moines (DSM) airport to Grinnell will run on Friday, June 28 – Sunday, June 30. The last van departure from the DSM airport will be 9pm each night.
  • Arrival vans from the Ottumwa Amtrak station will run on Saturday, June 29 & Sunday, June 30, and will meet each of the California Zephyr trains.
  • For Half-Gathering attenders, there will be one van trip to and from the DSM airport on Wednesday, July 3. We expect it to depart Grinnell at 1:30pm and pick up Friends at DSM at 3pm. There will not be service to the Ottumwa Amtrak station on Wednesday, July 3.

Shuttle Departures

  • The earliest Gathering shuttle to the Des Moines (DSM) airport will leave campus at 6am on Saturday, July 6. The final Gathering shuttle should leave campus by 1pm on Saturday, July 6. Please plan your flights accordingly. Note that closing worship is from 9 to 10am.
  • The vans to the Ottumwa Amtrak station will drop off for each of the California Zephyr trains. Those leaving on the 6:53pm train from Chicago will have a several-hours wait in Ottumwa.
  • For Half-Gathering attenders, there will be one shuttle run to the DSM airport on Wednesday, July 3. We expect it to depart Grinnell at 1:30pm.

Wheelchair and Special Needs

For arrivals on Sunday June 30 and departures on Saturday June 6, we have a vehicle with a wheelchair lift. We are working to arrange a vehicle that can transport wheelchairs for pre-Gathering arrivals. If you need a shuttle vehicle that can accommodate wheelchairs, please contact the Gathering Office.

Please contact the Accessibility Needs Coordinator if you would like to arrange a scooter rental.

Shuttle Price

One-way shuttle for Adults, Young Adults, High Schoolers: $40

One-way shuttle for children up to rising 9th grade: $30

You will register and pay for your shuttle through your Gathering registration.

Shuttle Reservations

To make a shuttle reservation, sign up for a shuttle on your Gathering registration. You will need to select a shuttle for each person on your registration. You will receive an email in mid-June with instructions on where to meet your shuttle and when it is departing. We will be grouping people together based on their arrival times, within the timeframes listed in the "arrival" and "departures" section above.

To reserve a shuttle:

  • The date and scheduled time of arrival (or departure) and which airport/station you are arriving at
  • Where you are coming from (or going to), including flight/train numbers.
  • How many bags do you expect to bring?
  • Will you be bringing a wheelchair or scooter on board?

How to add Gathering shuttle

Did you already register for the Gathering and want to add a shuttle? The primary registrant can log in their registration online and add shuttles until the deadline on June 10. Remember to add a shuttle for every member of your party.

Taxi service

If your flight is coming in after the hours that the Gathering vans run, or you are arriving or departing on a day when there are not Gathering vans, you may want to take a taxi. According the the Grinnell College website, taxi service from the Des Moines airport to Grinnell College (or vice versa) is about $125. There is a list of cab companies on the Grinnell College website.

Gathering staff have found that rideshare (Uber/Lyft) is available in Des Moines, but not in Grinnell.

Child Car Seat Laws in Iowa

You will need to provide your own car seats for young children using the airport shuttle.

Follow these state guidelines:

  • Infants under age one and weighing less than 20 pounds be secured in a rear-facing child safety seat.
  • Children aged one to six must be secured in a child restraint system (a safety seat or booster seat--NOT just a seat belt)
  • Children age 6 up to age 11 must be secured in a child restraint system or by a safety belt
  • Children and teens ages 11-18 (who are not in booster seats) must use adult seat belts.