A bus company based in Savage has been awarded Howard County's two largest public transportation services.
Yellow Transportation Inc. will operate the Howard Area Transit Service (HATS) and Connect-A-Ride for five years beginning July 1, with an option to renew for an additional two years, according to an announcement by officials of Corridor Transportation Corp. (CTC), which manages both services.
It will be the first time that a single company has operated both services.
"We're very excited," said Mark L. Joseph, president of Yellow Transportation, which has been operating commuter runs for the Mass Transit Administration from Laurel to Baltimore and from Columbia to Baltimore for three years. "We consider this a historic opportunity."
Yellow Transportation was one of six companies that bid for the $970,000 Connect-A-Ride contract and the $734,000 HATS contract in March, said Ray Ambrose, a project administrator for CTC.
More than 200,000 riders annually use HATS. It was once called ColumBUS, a $1 million-a-year operation managed by the Columbia Association and funded by federal, state, county and Columbia Association sources.
HATS routes connect all seven villages of Columbia, Ellicott City and business centers to other suburban transit services in the Baltimore-Washington corridor.
About 300,000 riders a year use the Connect-A-Ride service, which runs from Laurel Centre Mall to The Mall in Columbia.
Ambrose said CTC -- which currently operates the HATS routes -- chose Yellow Transportation because the company offered, among other things, an additional 1,200 hours of service annually on the routes.
"And that's without an increase to the budget," Ambrose said. "That gives us a chance to look at our needs and apply the services there."
Joseph said the company has ordered 10 new buses costing about $100,000 each.
Pub Date: 6/05/97