Public transportation responsibilities to change hands next month

By mid-February, Butler Medical will be taking over for Carroll Area Transit System to provide public transportation service in Carroll County.

County government spokeswoman Roberta Windham said the transition is expected to be complete by Valentine's Day.


The new service will be called the Carroll Transit System and operated by Butler Mobility, and the firm will operate both the demand-response and TrailBlazer services.

Demand-response service is a shared ride door-to-door service, much like an airport shuttle, available to all residents of Carroll County, while Trailblazer services are a series of five deviated-fixed routes that run along scheduled stops.

CATS will continue to provide Veteran Shuttle for veterans and their caregivers.

During the transition, the county and Butler Medical are working together to develop a new website outlining services, and a new telephone number to schedule trips via demand-response transportation, Windham said. The county expects both to be operational in the next two weeks.

The majority of the buses used by CATS were actually owned by the county, and other than a new logo, the same buses will be in service for Butler, she said.

As part of the transition, an updated transportation scheduling system will be implemented and registered riders will be contacted in order to update their information.

Maryland law dictates local governments award a public transportation contract every five years. After a competitive bid process, the Carroll County Board of Commissioners awarded the transportation contract to Butler Medical on Dec. 23. The choice to award the contract to Butler ended more than 40 years of the Carroll Area Transit System being used for the services. The contract ensures that all five service routes currently operated by CATS will not be interrupted or lost.

The county has been working with both CATS and Butler to eliminate complications in the transition of services, Windham said. She also said the county has no plans to reduce or alter service routes.

CATS patrons may continue to redeem their tickets to pay for fare, and new tickets will be printed and available through Butler.

The total estimated expenses for Butler in the coming year are about $1.94 million, and the county will contribute roughly $1.4 million. The difference will be paid for with ticket sales, fares and billing services.

Though this price tag is almost $400,000 more than the $1.05 million the county was funding CATS in previous years, it is still significantly less than the recent proposal from CATS to renew its contract with the county.

Reach staff writer Wiley Hayes at 410-857-3315 or

For More Information:

Anyone with questions during the transition period may call 410-386-3600 for additional information. Patrons can also update their information on-line by visiting the website