Howard County has completed its draft Transit Development Plan 2023. A short-term plan, the TDP serves as a guide for local transit system development and funding requests, and provides a roadmap for implementing service and organizational improvements, including potential service expansion, during the next five years.

The TDP process reviews, assesses and identifies transit goals and objectives, unmet transit needs, and alternatives to address unmet needs or to improve performance. The plan recommends phased improvements and provides capital and operating budget estimates for the recommendations. Short-, medium- and long-term improvements within a five-year horizon are identified.

“Our 2023 TDP strives to improve the local experience, expand service to underserved areas and provide additional regional connectivity,” said Bruce Gartner, administrator, Office of Transportation.

In the next five years, the draft 2023 TDP calls for the following improvements:

Fiscal 2024: Realignment of Route 405 (completed in July 2023), new Route 505 to Catonsville (completed in July 2023) and extension of Route 409 to Lansdowne via Elkridge (scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2024)

Fiscal 2025: Implement weekday service from Columbia to Howard County Public School System’s Board of Education, Homewood Center and Applications and Research Laboratory, and launch a microtransit pilot along Route 1 Corridor

Fiscal 2026: Extend Route 501 to BWI MARC/Amtrak Station, launch a new route between Columbia and Elkridge, and implement a Flash Bus Rapid Transit extension along Route 29 to Downtown Columbia

Fiscal 2027: Launch new route between Columbia and Laurel to Fort Meade and extend service from the HCPSS’s Board of Education, Homewood Center and Applications and Research Laboratory to Clarksville

Fiscal 2028: Create new routes from Laurel and Bowie and from Columbia to Maple Lawn/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

The development of the TDP was guided by a technical advisory group that consisted of Howard County’s Office of Transportation, the Regional Transportation Agency of Central Maryland and the Maryland Transit Administration.

The plan was also informed by input from the public through multiple stakeholder meetings and surveys, as well as briefings and comments from Howard County’s Multimodal Transportation Board, the Central Maryland Transportation and Mobility Commission, and the RTA Rider Advisory Council.

For more information about the TDP and to review past plans, visit www.howardcountymd.gov/transportation/howard-county-transit-development-plan. A copy of the draft TDP 2023 can be found at www.howardcountymd.gov/sites/default/files/2023-10/2023%20TDP%20DRAFT%20FOR%20REVIEW%20for%20web.pdf.