Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, center, and the team responsible for overseeing and operating Harford Transit LINK, celebrate the system's recent award from the Transportation Association of Maryland.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, center, and the team responsible for overseeing and operating Harford Transit LINK, celebrate the system's recent award from the Transportation Association of Maryland. (Harford County government)

From Harford County government:

Harford Transit LINK, Harford County's public transportation bus system, has been named the 2017 Outstanding Transit System of the Year by the Transportation Association of Maryland.


The award was announced Sept. 27 at the Transportation Association's annual conference & expo in Ocean City. Harford Transit LINK was honored for its dynamic modernization campaign to make the LINK a leader in innovation and customer service.

"I am proud of my team at Harford Transit LINK for making our public transportation system more efficient and convenient for riders," County Executive Barry Glassman said. "For example, the system's RouteShout application allows riders to track buses in real time on their smartphones to help get them to jobs and other places they need to go."

Among other recent efforts, Harford Transit LINK has installed a new system that automatically announces the current and upcoming bus stop to riders aboard fixed route buses.

For users of LINK's "Demand Response" service, the system automatically calls riders to remind them of scheduled trips. The system, known as RouteMatch, also collects information about ridership and performance to improve planning for future bus routes.

Service improvements in progress include larger and enhanced bus stop signs being installed at each of the system's 150 stops throughout Harford County and into Cecil County.

The updated signs identify routes, destinations, and connections to other LINK buses. Cell phone users can also see schedule information and locate buses in real time by scanning the QR code or texting the number posted on each sign.

To improve customer safety and security, Harford Transit LINK is installing bus shelters around the county, the first of which will be unveiled at the Aberdeen MARC Train Station later this month. Prior to this enhancement, LINK's most vulnerable riders have had to stand, waiting for their buses in all types of weather. Future improvements will include in-vehicle video surveillance equipment for the entire fleet.

Harford LINK's newest route connects employees to jobs in Perryman and Riverside. This pilot program called the Silver Line, or Route 8 Perryman-Riverside Express, is specially tailored to the work shifts of area employers. Silver Line/Route 8 buses travel into the Riverside Business Park eight times daily, Monday through Friday, beginning at 6:37 a.m. and ending at 8:06 p.m.; and into the Perryman Peninsula 16 times beginning at 5:54 a.m. and ending at 8:25 p.m.

Combined with the existing Route 6 bus route, LINK buses provide service into Riverside Business Park 22 times per day and into the Perryman Peninsula 30 times per day.

Harford Transit LINK, a division under the Harford County Office of Economic Development, operates 43 vehicles Monday through Friday with eight routes countywide and into Cecil County.

The LINK also connects with MTA/MARC trains, MTA commuter buses, and regional Greyhound, which then connects with main terminals in Baltimore and interstate travel.

Key service areas include Harford Community College, the Mary Risteau State Office Building, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake and Harford Memorial hospitals, Perryman Peninsula and Riverside business communities, Aberdeen Train Station, Harford Mall, the Constant Friendship shopping area, Edgewater Village Shopping Center, and Beards Hill Shopping Plaza.

The Transportation Association of Maryland, or TAM, is a 20-year-old statewide organization that, according to its website, "is dedicated to improving mobility for all of Maryland's citizens."


TAM members include public, private and non-profit organizations that provide community transportation services in every Maryland jurisdiction, linking people to community resources and promoting business, tourism and economic development, according to the website.

Harford County’s “Choose Civility” campaign kicked off with a breakfast event at the Water’s Edge Events Center in Belcamp on Wednesday.