Office of Transportation / Managed Services
The Office of Transportation directly oversees the following activities:
- Regional Transportation Agency of Central Maryland (RTA) (fixed-route service)
- RTA Mobility (ADA complementary and paratransit service)
- Howard Commuter Services (rideshare/carpool and vanpool services)
- Work-on-Wheels (reverse commute service)
The fixed-route and paratransit services are provided through the Regional Transportation Agency of Central Maryland (RTA) a private non-profit organization. The rideshare and vanpool services are provided through the Office of Transportation. The reverse commute service is provided through the BWI-Business Partnership.
The web site that includes information on all the Howard County public transit programs and the supplemental services that are available is also coordinated by the RTA and can be accessed at www.transitRTA.com
RTA provides daily bus service in Columbia, Ellicott City, Savage, and other locations in and around Howard County. The RTA operates eight routes with seven connecting at the Columbia Mall. Monday through Friday service generally operates between 6:00 am – 10:00 pm. Service on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays generally operates between 8:00 am – 6:00 pm. View route schedules and maps.
Howard County is proud to be operating the second largest fleet of hybrid-electric buses in Maryland…and within a year the entire Howard Transit fleet will be hybrids. The hybrid buses are quieter than conventional internal combustion engine buses and are much better for the environment.
All RTA buses are equipped with the Nextbus vehicle locator system with predictive capability. By clicking here you can determine when a RTA bus will arrive at your bus stop.
RTA Mobility is a specialized transportation service for individuals who cannot ride fixed-route buses. RTA Mobility consists of two service components: General Paratransit and ADA Services.
- General Paratransit
RTA Mobility provides shared ride transportation to medical appointments, senior centers, social services, college and employment to eligible Howard County residents who have a disability (ages 18-59) or are age 60 and over. Service is provided to and from locations in Howard County with limited service available to medical centers in Baltimore.
All individuals must complete an application and must be certified before using the service. For information and an application contact Customer Service at 1.800.270.9553 or visit RTA Mobility.
General Paratransit service is available Monday through Friday, primarily between 8:00 am-5 pm. Riders must schedule trips at least 48 business hours in advance.
- ADA Services
RTA Mobility provides general purpose shared ride services to individuals who are unable to use fixed-route services due to a disability. ADA service is limited to areas that are within 3/4 of a mile of RTA fixed-route service.
All individuals must complete a two part application, which requires certification by a physician or a health care professional. For information and an application contact Customer Service at 1.800.270.9553 or visit RTA Mobility.
ADA service hours are the same as the RTA fixed route buses. Riders must schedule trips by 5:00 pm the day before the requested trip.
The fare for both services, General Paratransit and ADA Services, is $2.50 per trip.
Howard Commuter Solutions
Howard Commuter Solutions provides free trip planning and ride matching services to residents of Howard County. Funded by a grant from the Maryland Transit Administration, Howard Commuter Solutions offers a “one-stop shop” approach in assisting commuters with transportation options. Howard Commuter Solutions encourages County residents to use public transportation, carpools or vanpools to travel to work instead of driving alone.
The Work on Wheels (WoW) program connects employees and job candidates from Baltimore City to selected Howard County work sites. WoW is funded through a grant from the Baltimore City Department of Social Services and the Howard County Office of Transportation.
By partnering with a network of non-profit and public sector employment job development programs that can pre-screen and pre-qualify job candidates in Baltimore City with employment opportunities in Howard County, WoW connects candidates for hard-to-fill, entry-level jobs, and transports them to and from interviews and work in Howard County. WoW receives pre-screened candidate referrals through a network of non-profit and public sector employment development agencies in Baltimore City. The transportation services and the human resource referrals are free of charge to the Howard County business community.