Howard County’s location between Washington and Baltimore offers a reasonable commute for residents working in those two cities and for others commuting here for jobs.
Commuter Solutions offers up-to-date transportation information such as bus and train routes, and car and van pool matching services. www.howardcommutersolutions.com or 410-313-3130.
> Maryland Transit Administration Intercity Buses serve the county, collecting passengers at several park-and-ride lots and designated spots. MTA also offers service between Baltimore and Laurel, with stops along the way. Call 410-539-5000, or visit www.mta.maryland.gov. MTA contractors operate rush-hour bus routes from Columbia to Baltimore and Washington.
> Intracounty Bus Travel is also available through Howard Transit Service, which provides service to most of Columbia’s village centers and the Columbia Gateway office complex; to Ellicott City — including the historic district and county government office complex; to the Route 1 corridor and to Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). The Mall in Columbia acts as one of several transfer points for Howard Transit, which also offers service to the central library, Howard Community College and Howard County General Hospital. Visit www.howardtransit.com, or call 1-800-270-9553.
> A Paratransit Service called HT RIDE, part of Howard Transit, provides curb-to-curb van rides to elderly, disabled and A.D.A.-eligible patrons. Call 1-800-270-9553.
> Connect-A-Ride serves the greater Laurel area with stops in North Laurel, The Mall in Columbia and Savage. Riders can transfer to buses that travel Route 29 or Route 1 south of the county, or to local bus service into Laurel. Visit www.corridortransit.com or call 1-800-270-9553.
> Door to Door Shuttle Service (410-465-8577) is a private company that transports children to day care and before- and after-school programs, as well as providing service for seniors and the developmentally disabled.
> Car Pool or Van Pool Service is encouraged by many employers, including the Social Security Administration in Woodlawn, Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda and the Pentagon in northern Virginia. Many pools meet at one of the county’s 10 park-and-ride lots. For information on ride sharing, call the Commuter Solutions of Howard County office at 410-313-3130 or visit www.howardcommutersolutions.com.
> Since November 2004, Neighbor Ride has offered door-to-door service to seniors for a small fee. 410-884-RIDE.
> MARC commuter trains serve stations along the Route 1 corridor at Dorsey, Jessup, Savage and Laurel. Trains connect to Camden Station in Baltimore and Union Station in Washington. Monthly fare cards are available, as is free parking. A Howard Transit bus transports rush-hour commuters to and from the Savage and Dorsey stations and the Columbia mall. 1-800-325-7245 or www.mta.maryland.gov.
> Amtrak Intercity Trains leave from Washington’s Union Station, BWI Airport Station and Baltimore’s Pennsylvania Station, serving the Eastern seaboard. 1-800-USA-RAIL or visit www.amtrak.com.
> The Washington Metro System has park-and-ride stops south of the county in Glenmont and Silver Spring (red line) and Greenbelt (green line). 202-637-7000 or www.wmata.com.
> The Baltimore Metro System offers service from Johns Hopkins Hospital and Owings Mills and includes 14 stations. The light rail system has two lines with 32 stops — a central line between Glen Burnie and Hunt Valley and another between BWI and Penn Station. Visit www.mta.maryland.gov.
> Airline travel is available from Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), a 20-minute drive from Columbia. Long-term, daily and hourly parking is available. Call 410-859-7111 (TTY: 410-859-7227), or visit www.bwiairport.com. Reagan National (703-417-8000) and Dulles International (703-572-2700) are in northern Virginia. Their website is www.mwaa.com.
> Airport Shuttle is among the private companies providing rides to BWI, National and Dulles airports. Call 410-381-2772. Howard Transit (1-800-270-9553) and Columbia Airport Shuttle (410-309-0006) also provide service to BWI.
> Motor Vehicle Administration has full-service offices in Glen Burnie in Anne Arundel County and Beltsville in Prince George’s County. There’s an MVA Express office in Columbia for simple tasks like renewing a driver’s license. Call 1-800-950-1682 or 410-768-7000 for more info.