Howard & Anne Arundel counties have announced that they with partner to “form a Regional Transportation Agency (RTA) that will result in a more cost effective and efficient system that better serves public transit commuters.”
From Anne Arundel County’s news release:
“I am very excited about this partnership with Howard County and the benefits that the Regional Transportation Agency creates,” said County Executive Neuman. “As equal partners in this collaboration, both Counties will have more effective management over operating costs, provide expanded service areas to public transit customers at a lower unit cost and have a more active role in transportation planning.”
The Anne Arundel County Transportation Commission reviewed the business model for becoming part of a regional transit entity and found that it was the most cost effective and efficient manner in which to operate the County’s public transportation needs. Over the next three years, the RTA will result in an overall cost savings of 10% – 15% (approximately $600,000) to Anne Arundel County taxpayers.
Howard County’s news release notes that the RTA is expected to generate $2 million in yearly efficiencies which will be used to improve service for riders.
“We are taking a huge step forward for innovation and efficiency, and the customers of our transit services will directly benefit,” said County Executive Ulman. “We recently created the first Howard County Office of Transportation to find a better way to provide service and streamline operations, and we are now able to execute a well-conceived plan, in conjunction with our neighbors. I am so pleased that Anne Arundel County will be a partner in this effort.”
A Memorandum of Understanding between Anne Arundel and Howard counties, signed last week, becomes effective July 1, 2014.
The RTA will coordinate, manage and operate all existing transit services in member jurisdictions, including bus routes and Connect-A-Ride services.
Under the regional plan, member jurisdictions are expected to save 17 percent on transit operations through reductions in administrative costs and duplication, and by streamlining budgeting, accounting and other tasks. The RTA will be overseen by a commission with representation from all member jurisdictions.
In Howard County, the savings from the new operation are expected to be $1.24 million yearly, and will be used to fund additional transit services, including route improvements.