Public Transportation

Regional Transportation Agency of Central Maryland

The Office of Transportation manages and oversees the contract under which the Regional Transportation Agency (RTA) provides fixed route bus and paratransit services in Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County and the City of Laurel. Funding is shared by the partner jurisdictions with support from federal and state sources to offset the gap between farebox and other revenues and capital and operating costs. The RTA runs 15 fixed routes, provides complementary paratransit service to people with disabilities, and general-purpose transportation for both elderly people and people with disabilities.

Transit and Pedestrian Advisory Group made up of resident and agency stakeholders advises the Office of Transportation on transit and pedestrian matters.


Public Transportation Projects

Bus Rapid Transit

The Office of Transportation is evaluating the implementation of a Bus Rapid Transit system in Howard County. The implementation of such a system would represent a significant investment for the County and the state of Maryland  and should be pursued only where frequent bus service could be supported. In order to ensure that the BRT project is successful, it has to be supported by strong forecasted ridership and potential shifts from private auto mode shares.  

The Concept Plan study presents preliminary plans and costs for a BRT system along various roads and corridors. These corridors are US 29, Broken Land Parkway, MD 216, MD 32 and Snowden River Parkway.  

The Phase I report builds on the Concept Plan study and evaluates the proposed BRT network and determine which routes are most viable given the proposed services and ridership forecasts. Four corridors were studied in this report: 

1. US 29 between Mount Hebron and Silver Spring

2. Broken Land Parkway between Columbia Town Center and Savage MARC Station

3. MD 32 between Clarksville and Odenton Town Center

4. MD 216 between Scaggsville and Odenton Town Center  

The travel demand model was also used to screen measures of effectiveness including travel time, average annual daily traffic (AADT), and person-throughput; to refine alignments and potential stations; and to test specific operational characteristics.  


The Phase II study is an extension of the previous Conceptual and  Phase I efforts performed to evaluate a Bus Rapid Transit network for the County, including linkages to other activity centers and transit systems in the Baltimore/Washington Region. The purpose of the Phase II study is to provide additional detail and rigor not part of the previous work, and filter/refine alternatives to a level that can be carried forward to the next stage of right of way design, environmental impact and preliminary engineering. The Phase II effort focuses on a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system within three primary corridors (US 29, Broken Land Parkway, and US 1), and examines specific route alignment and stations, ancillary feeder transit services, landside services such as park and rides and pedestrian accessibility, preliminary operating costs, and land use plans to support high quality transit service within and between them. The aim is to identify and evaluate the corridors and feasible alternatives that demonstrate the potential for attracting riders and receiving funding.

BRT Concept Study-Part 1.pdf

BRT Concept Study-Part 2 US 29 Detail.pdf

BRT Concept Study-Part 3 MD 216 Detail.pdf

BRT Concept Study-Part 4 MD 32 Detail.pdf

BRT Concept Study-Part 5 BLP Detail.pdf


Phase 1-Howard County BRT Report.pdf

Phase 1-Appendix A - Travel Model Development and Validation.pdf

Phase 1-Appendix C - Table and Scans.pdf


Phase 2 Howard County BRT Technical Report

Phase 2- Howard County Model Development

Phase 2-Howard County BRT Service Alignments

Phase 2-Service Planning for BRT

Phase 2-Combined Station Planning for BRT



Downtown Columbia Transit Center

The Howard County Office of Transportation initiated this Location and Site Analysis Study for the relocation, expansion, and reconfiguration of the existing Downtown Columbia Transit Center to serve as the central hub for future county and regional transit services. The purpose of this Study was to:

• Identify a preferred site, size and location for the new transit center;
• Estimate the number of bus bays that the transit center would need, including those to accommodate
future BRT service;
• Develop site and transit center concepts to meet future needs;
• Provide estimates of improvement costs.

Downtown Columbia Transit Center   

Paratransit Policy Review

The Howard County Office of Transportation is facilitating a Paratransit Workgroup to conduct a review of paratransit policies and services in the County to determine if there are changes that are needed to ensure that paratransit services are provided where they are most needed. The Transit and Pedestrian Advisory Group (TPAG) will be leading the workgroup. The Paratransit Workgroup is made up of representative from the ARC, Association of Community Services, Athelas Institute, Commission on Aging, Commission on Disabilities Issues, Commission on Transitioning Students with Disabilities, Muti-modal Transportation Board, Neighbor Ride, RTA, Office on Aging, and TPAG.

Meeting Materials 

November 14, 2018

Meeting Audio

Meeting Packet 

September 5, 2018

Meeting Audio

Meeting Informational Packet

Meeting Agenda

Transit Development Plan

Public transportation plays an important role in our community

The Central Maryland Transit Development Plan serves as a guide for transit services in the Central Maryland region, including Anne Arundel County, Howard County, Northern Prince George’s County, and the City of Laurel. It provides a roadmap for implementing service and organizational improvements, including potential service expansion, during the next five years.

The Howard County Council endorsed  the Transit Development Plan on May 7, 2018. Below is the endorsed plan (May 2018) :

Cover, Table of Contents, & Approvals

Endorsed Central Maryland Transit Development Plan Chapter 1 - Introduction

Endorsed Central Maryland Transit Development Plan Chapter 2 - Demographics and Land Use

Endorsed Central Maryland Transit Development Plan Chapter 3 - Public Input

Endorsed Central Maryland Transit Development Plan Chapter 4 - Existing Services

Endorsed Central Maryland Transit Development Plan Chapter 5 - Alternatives

Endorsed Central Maryland Transit Development Plan Chapter 6 - Plan

Endorsed Central Maryland Transit Development Plan Chapter 7 - Future Transit Development

Endorsed Central Maryland Transit Development Plan Appendices

 A three page plan highlights document can be found here. An Executive Summary can be found here

Howard County Title VI Policy Statement
Howard County is committed to ensuring that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, as provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 (PL 100.259), be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity, whether those programs and activities are federally funded or not.  The Howard County’s Title VI Manager is responsible for initiating and monitoring Title VI activities, preparing required reports, and other responsibilities as required by Title 23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 200, and Title 49 CFR Part 21.


Howard County adheres to the Title VI complaint procedures as set forth in Section 6 of its Title VI Implementation Plan (draft July 2018).  Additional information can be found in the Title VI Plan Appendices

If you wish to file a Title VI Complaint please review the Title VI complaint procedures and complete the complaint form attached to the procedures. Send the completed form to the Title VI Manager in person, via mail or email at:

Transit Planning Manager

Howard County Office of Transportation

3430 Court House Drive

Ellicott City, MD 20143