January 26, 2021

Hall

HOWARD COUNTY, MD — Howard County Executive Calvin Ball hosted a virtual transportation town hall Wednesday to discuss transportation safety, Complete Streets, future projects and more. The panel of speakers addressed current trends in transportation safety and commuting and shared the status of many priority projects to improve intersections and complete sidewalks. The Regional Transportation Agency noted record capital investments to improve the vehicle fleet and the implementation real-time bus arrival information allowing customers to see nearby routes based on their location, a trip planner and service alerts.

“Throughout this year, many of our residents have shifted to working from home and are spending more time in our neighborhoods and our community,” Ball said in a statement. “The impact on transportation has been profound, with massive changes for travel, work, and school patterns. Some of these changes may be long lasting, and some will not, but no matter what this pandemic has highlighted the urgency of our transportation projects and priorities.”

Since 2017 there has also been an additional $775,000 in bus stop improvements including:

  • ADA landing pads
  • Sidewalk and curb ramp connections
  • Continued coordination with Complete Streets efforts
  • New shelter design with improved access and integrated solar lighting

“During the past year, the Transit System serving Howard County residents has been challenged by changes in funding, difficult operating conditions for our drivers and a dramatic dip in ridership but has also benefited from a focus on technology with new real time bus information and upcoming implementation of a mobile payment system,” said Cristin Tolen, general manager for the Regional Transportation Agency. “These improvements and the county’s record level of investment in vehicles continue to ensure that RTA service is more accessible and convenient.”

Howard County and the RTA are planning upcoming improvements that include:

  • Real-time bus arrival information allowing customers to see nearby routes based on their location, a trip planner, and service alerts
  • Mobile ticketing, removing the need for cash
  • Automated bus stop annunciators, improving access for riders with visual and/or hearing impairments

“Creating a safe and efficient multimodal transportation system is a team effort as evidenced by presentations offered by the office of transportation, police department, department of public works and Regional Transit Agency representatives at our second annual transportation town hall,” said Bruce Gartner, office of transportation administrator. “The past year has been a difficult one but the dedication of everyone involved in these efforts has been apparent with the accomplishments highlighted this evening and our plans for the years to come.”

DPW’s Bureau of Highways also shared the 2020 resurfacing projects that were completed:

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