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Scott L. Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412

The announcements included the new Transportation Administrator, Bruce Gartner, and major enhancements to RTA bus service

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball yesterday announced that the Office of Transportation will be led by Bruce Gartner, former Executive Director of the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA). Ball also announced significant enhancements to the Regional Transportation Agency of Central Maryland (RTA) bus service in Howard County as part of his vision for improved transportation. Video of the event can be found here. Photos can be found here

“Decreasing traffic congestion, improving transportation infrastructure, and expanding public transit are crucial to improving the quality of life for all our residents,” said Ball. “Howard County is uniquely situated to advance key projects and expand transit opportunity throughout our entire region. The future of transportation in our county will be more dynamic, accessible, and forward-thinking. I am confident that Bruce Gartner will help us reach this future with his capable leadership.”

New Administrator 
Bruce Gartner will now lead the Office of Transportation, overseeing transportation priorities, including coordination with the Regional Transit Authority (RTA), associated funding for transit improvements, and bicycling and pedestrian initiatives.

Most recently working as a Transit and Rail Group Leader and Client Account Manager with the firm, Jacobs Engineering Group, Bruce is also a 20-year veteran of the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). Before joining Jacobs, Gartner served as Executive Director of the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA). As head of the agency, he set strategic priorities, led the agency through the adoption and implementation of new tolling programs and coordinated the completion and start-up operations of several, major facilities.

Before becoming MDTA Executive Director, Gartner served in several positions at MDOT, including Director of Policy and Government Affairs and Assistant Secretary for Policy at MDOT between 2008 and 2013.

In those leadership roles, he worked closely with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority and Maryland Transit Administration to implement Maryland’s transit priorities and worked closely with the Maryland General Assembly on transportation funding initiatives.

RTA Enhancements 
The RTA enhancements, which took effect on May 5th, added 5,600 new service hours to Howard County routes. The county adjusted schedules to shorten wait times between buses and eliminated 2-hour frequencies. All buses now operate on 30-minute or one-hour intervals, and the county added new or expanded service on Sunday routes.

Three new routes were added within the current service area to allow for more efficient rides with shorter travel times. Residents over 60 years old and those with disabilities will still be able to ride fixed-route buses for free, system wide. In addition, the transit app RouteShout 2.0 allows users to see personalized bus arrival and departure times by route, address, or location.

For more information, including a summary of key service changes by route, click here or call the RTA Customer Service Number (1-800-270-9553).

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