Data Analytics and Statistics Hub

Reliable and Accessible Infrastructure

Increase number of RTA passenger boardings to 1 million by FY 2025


FY19 Actual

FY18 Actual

Objective Description

This measure represents the number of one-way trips (total count of individual boardings) on local and regional routes. The Regional Transportation Agency (RTA) delivers public transit in Anne Arundel County, Howard County, northern Prince George’s County, and the City of Laurel provide an option to the private automobile in accessing jobs, medical services, recreation, and shopping, and reducing congestion and air pollution. The number of one-way trips does not include trips for local routes in Anne Arundel County, northern Prince George’s County, and the City of Laurel.

Trend Analysis

RTA ridership declined between 2015 and 2018. This trend is consistent with ridership decline across the region and nationally attributed partially to low gas prices, growth in telecommuting, and ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. The County began major reinvestments in the bus fleet and improvements to transit services including the fare structure, better routes, conditions at bus stops, and real-time information for riders. These improvements will increase reliability, convenience and comfort and are also expected to increase ridership. RTA passenger trips are projected to increase following the first phase of the Transit Development Plan implementation (TDP). Phase I included a major reconfiguration of the county’s bus routes with a focus on efficiency, more frequent service, more reliable schedules, shorter trip times and expanded Sunday service. A key element is the addition of over 5,600 service hours to the current system. As a result, in FY 2020 we are estimating up to a 5% increase in ridership over the FY 2019 actual of 746,492. Achieving our target of 1.0 million one-way trips by FY 2025 will depend on the extent of the service expansions that are implemented in the future phases of the TDP and aggressive outreach efforts to target potential riders between 15-19 years old and residents over 55 years old.


  • Implement the Consolidated Transit Plan's recommendations.
  • Expand and adjust transit routes to improve service, efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Incorporate transit-related recommendations into review comments on development applications.
  • Improve the reliability of Regional Transportation Agency (RTA) service by adding new buses to the fleet and maintaining older vehicles.
  • Upgrade bus stop facilities, including shelters and sidewalk connections.
  • Work with Howard County Public Schools to increase usage by public high school students living near and going to schools located on existing or previously planned route.

Source: Office of Transportation

Target = 1,000,000

Detailed Analysis

Copyright 2018 by Howard County, Maryland | Privacy Statement | Terms Of Use | ADA Notice