Howard County, Maryland
|Howard County, Maryland|
The Howard County Courthouse in May 2008.
Location in the state of Maryland
Maryland's location in the U.S.
|Named for||John Eager Howard|
|• Total||253.55 sq mi (657 km2)|
|• Land||252.04 sq mi (653 km2)|
|• Water||1.51 sq mi (4 km2), 0.60%|
|• Density||1,139/sq mi (439.6/km²)|
|Congressional districts||2nd, 3rd, 7th|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
Howard County is a county located in the central part of the U.S. state of Maryland, between Baltimore and Washington, D.C.. As of the 2010 census, the population was 287,085. Its county seat is Ellicott City. The center of population of Maryland is located in the Howard County town of Jessup.
Howard County is considered part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. Recent development in the south of the county has led to some realignment towards the Washington, D.C. media and employment markets. The county is also home to Columbia, a major planned community of approximately 100,000 founded by developer James Rouse in 1967.
Howard County is frequently cited for its affluence, quality of life, and excellent schools. With a median family income of $125,152 in 2012, Howard County was ranked the second wealthiest county by median household income in the United States by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2013. Many of the most affluent communities in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, such as Clarksville, Dayton, Glenelg, Glenwood and West Friendship, are located along the Route 32 corridor in Howard County. The main population center of Columbia/Ellicott City was named second among Money magazine's 2010 survey of "America's Best Places to Live." Howard County's schools frequently rank first in Maryland as measured by standardized test scores and graduation rates.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Education and public library
- 6 Politics and government
- 7 Economy
- 8 Awards
- 9 Culture and attractions
- 10 Unincorporated census-designated places
- 11 Transportation
- 12 Departments
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
The name of the county honors Colonel John Eager Howard, an officer in the "Maryland Line" of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War, commander notably at the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina in 1781 among others. He became the fifth Governor of Maryland whose home was the mansion "Belvedere". The mansion was located at the intersection of East Chase and North Calvert Streets, north of Baltimore Town, an area also called "Howard's Woods" where the Washington Monument was later erected and the neighborhood Mount Vernon, Baltimore was developed in the 1820s. The county's nickname of "HoCo", is derived from a contraction of the words "Howard" and "County".
In 1652, the Susquehannock tribes signed a peace treaty with Maryland, giving up their provence over the territory that is now Howard County. In 1800, the mean center of U.S. population as calculated by the US Census Bureau was found in what is now Howard County.
The area of western Anne Arundel County was designated the Howard District when Anne Arundel County was divided in 1839. The Howard District had the same status as a county except that it was not separately represented in the Maryland General Assembly. In 1841, the county built its first courthouse in Ellicott City. At the January 1851 constitutional convention, Thomas Beale Dorsey submitted a petition lead by James Sykes. A committee was formed with Dorsey, Bowie, Smith, Harbine and Ricaud. After several postponements, the district became erected officially as Howard County on March 7, 1851.
The plantations of modern Howard County used slave labor as early as 1690. At the time of the Underground Railroad, some Howard County residents assisted slaves who were escaping to freedom. Maryland was exempt from the Emancipation Proclamation, later abolishing slavery in the update of the Maryland Constitution in November 1864.
By the turn of the century in 1899, Howard County contained 400 miles of dirt and 48 miles of stone roads, including three paid turnpikes maintained by 118 men. Most traffic consisted of loads delivered to rail crossings. In 1909, County Commissioners Hess, Werner and O'Neil were charged with malfeasance regarding contract bids.
The 1930s saw a shift from one room schoolhouses to centralized schools with bus service. By 1939 wheat harvesting fell to just 18,800 acres. The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 brought the I-95 highway through Eastern Howard county. From 1963 to 1966 the Rouse Company bought 14,000 acres of land and rezoned it for the Columbia Development. In 1972, The Marriott company proposed to build a regional theme park on Rouse-owned land but was denied zoning.
Howard County is located in the Piedmont Plateau region, with rolling hills making up most of the landscape. It is bounded on the north and northeast by the Patapsco River, on the southwest by the Patuxent River, and on the southeast by a land border with Anne Arundel County. Both the Patapsco and Patuxent run largely through publicly accessible parkland along the county borders. The Patuxent border includes the Triadelphia and Rocky Gorge reservoirs.
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 253.55 square miles (656.7 km2), the smallest county in Maryland, of which 252.04 square miles (652.8 km2) (or 99.40%) is land and 1.51 square miles (3.9 km2) (or 0.60%) is water.
- Anne Arundel County (southeast)
- Baltimore County (northeast)
- Carroll County (north)
- Frederick County (northwest)
- Montgomery County (west)
- Prince George's County (south)
Howard County lies in the humid subtropical climate zone. As one travels west in the county away from the Baltimore area, the winter temperatures get lower and winter snow is more common. Annual rainfall is about 45 inches (1,100 mm) throughout the county. Over a 50 year period from 1950 to 2010, there were 394 National Climatic Data Center reportable events causing 617 injuries, and 99 fatalities. There were 9 reported tornadoes, reaching a maximum of F2, with no recorded fatalities.
The ethnic makeup of the county according to the 2010 U.S. Census:
- 62.2% White
- 17.5% Black
- 0.3% Native American
- 14.4% Asian
- 0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
- 3.6% Two or more races
- 2.0% Other races
- 5.8% Hispanic or Latino (of any race)
As of the census of 2000, there were 247,842 people, 90,043 households, and 65,821 families residing in the county. The population density was 983 people per square mile (380/km²). There were 92,818 housing units at an average density of 368 per square mile (142/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 74.33% White, 14.42% Black, 0.24% Native American, 7.68% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.11% from other races, and 2.19% from two or more races. 3.02% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 15.1% were of German, 11.0% Irish, 9.3% English, 6.6% Italian and 5.7% American ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 90,043 households out of which 40.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.50% were married couples living together, 9.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.90% were non-families. 20.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.18.
In the county the population was spread out with 28.10% under the age of 18, 6.30% from 18 to 24, 34.40% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 7.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 96.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $101,003, and the median income for a family was $117,186 in 2009. The per capita income was $44,120. About 2.70% of families and 4.00% of the population were below the poverty line.
The following is a population history for Howard County from the U.S. Census Bureau. The ranking compares the population of Howard County to those of the other 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City.
- 1860.......13,338......(2,862 listed as slaves)
- 1900.......16,715......22nd (Calvert and Caroline fewer)
- 1910.......16,106......23rd (Calvert fewer)
- 1920.......15,826......22nd (Calvert and Kent fewer)
- 1930.......16,169......19th (Calvert, Charles, Kent, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's fewer)
- 1940.......17,175......20th (Calvert, Kent, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's fewer)
- 1950.......23,119......18th (Calvert, Caroline, Garrett, Kent, Queen Anne's, Somerset, Talbot fewer)
- 1960.......36,152......14th (Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Dorchester, Garrett, Kent, Queen Anne's, Somerset, Talbot, Worcester fewer)
- 1970.......61,911......11th (Howard passing Cecil, St. Mary's, Wicomico in population)
- 1980......118,572......7th (after only Anne Arundel, Baltimore County and City, Harford, Montgomery, Prince George's)
- 1990......187,328......6th (passing Harford)
Education and public library
The Howard County Public School System manages 71 schools and serves approximately 49,000 students. The graduation rate from this school district is an above-average 92%, and the county's schools are ranked among the best in the state. Student test scores consistently top the list for all Maryland school districts. Public school construction has kept pace with the county’s growth in recent years in an effort to safeguard against crowded classrooms. Howard High School is currently the largest school in the county with over 1,600 students.
Since 2005, Howard County Public Library has consistently been ranked among the top 5 libraries in its size category by HAPLR (Hennen's American Public Library Ratings). Under the library's sponsorship, a campaign called "Choose Civility" started in Howard County in 2006. According to its website, "Choose Civility is an ongoing community-wide initiative, led by Howard County Library, to position Howard County as a model of civility. The project intends to enhance respect, empathy, consideration and tolerance in Howard County." The campaign's distinctive green bumper stickers are often seen in Howard County and neighboring areas.
Politics and government
|2012||37.88% 57,758||59.94% 91,393||2.18% 3,334|
|2008||38.14% 55,393||59.99% 87,120||1.87% 2,720|
|2004||44.69% 59,724||54.07% 72,257||1.25% 1,666|
|2000||44.17% 49,809||51.92% 58,556||3.91% 4,411|
|1996||42.77% 40,849||49.81% 47,569||7.42% 7,090|
|1992||38.67% 38,594||44.85% 44,763||16.47% 16,441|
|1988||56.22% 44,153||43.30% 34,007||0.47% 370|
Howard County has developed a reputation for being reliably Democratic. However, it is slightly more moderate than Baltimore, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County. Howard County usually supports Democrats at the state and federal level, though it voted for Republican Bob Ehrlich in the 2002 gubernatorial election over Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. The last time that Howard County voted for a Republican candidate for President was 1988.
Starting in 1914, Howard County was governed by a system of three elected commissioners with four year terms. Senator James Clark proposed a five person County Council and a County Executive in 1965. In 1968, the county implemented a charter form of government. The County Council serves as the County's Legislative Branch, they provide Constituent Service and sit as members of the Zoning Board and Liquor Board. The current Howard County Executive is Kenneth Ulman, who was initially elected in 2006. Most of the county is in Maryland's 7th congressional district, represented by Democrat Elijah Cummings. A small portion is in Maryland's 3rd congressional district, represented by Democrat John Sarbanes.
|Chairman Name||Affiliation||Term||Commissioner Name||Affiliation||Term||Commissioner Name||Affiliation||Term|
|Thomas B. Hobbs||1851|
|John T. Ridgely||1885–1888||Ephraim Collins||1885–||B. C. Sunderland||1885–|
|Benjamin F. Hess||1901–1904||Thomas O' Neill||1901–1904||Jacob J. Werner||1901–1904|
|Jacob J. Werner||1905–1907||Benjamin F. Hess||1905–1907||Henry A Penny||1905–1911|
|Benjamin F. Hess||1908–1909||Amos Howard Earp||1908–1911||Jacob J. Werner||1908–1913|
|Amos Howard Earp||1911–1917||Grosvenor Hanson||1911–1915||William H. Davis||1911–1915|
|Amos Howard Earp||1915–1917||Grosvenor Hanson||1915–1917||De Wilton C. Partlett||1915–1917|
|Amos Howard Earp||1917–1919||John H. Shaab||1917–1919||De Wilton C. Partlett||1917–1919|
|Amos Howard Earp||1920–1926||Daniel H. Gaither||1920–1926||De Wilton C. Parlett||1920–1926|
|DeWilton C. Parlett||1926–1930||H. Thomas Glimes||1926–1930||Daniel H. Gaither||1926–1930|
|H. Grafton Penny||1930–1934||J. Frank Curtis||1930–1934||Daniel H. Gaither||1930–1934|
|H. Grafton Penny||Democrat||1935–1938||Robert H. Mercer||Democrat||1935–1938||Hart B. Noll||Republican||1935–1938|
|Charles E. Miller||Republican||1938–1942|
|James Franklin Curtis||Republican||1942–1949||Charles E. Miller||Republican||1942–1949|
|Norman E. Moxley||Democrat||1949–1957||Roby H. Mullinix||Democrat||1949–1954||E. Walter Scott||Democrat||1949–1954|
|Norman E. Moxley||Democrat||1958–1959||Howard W. Clark||Democrat||1957–1958||Charles E. Harman||Democrat||1957–1958|
|Charles M. Scott||Democrat||1959–1962||Norman E. Moxley||Democrat||1959–1962||Arthur K. Pickett||Democrat||1959–1962|
|Charles E. Miller||Republican||1962–1966||J. Hubert Black||Republican||1962–1966||David W. Force||Republican||1962–1966|
|Charles E. Miller||Republican||1966–1970||J. Hubert Black||Republican||1966–1970||Ridgley Jones||Democrat||1968–1970|
County Executives and Council Members:
|Omar J. Jones||Democrat||1969–1973||Alva S. Baker, Edward L. Cochran, J. Hugh Nichols, Charles E. Miller, William S. Hanna|
|Edward L. Cochran||Democrat||1974–1978||Richard Anderson, Ruth Keeton, Lloyd Kowles, Virginia Thomas, Thomas Yeager|
|J. Hugh Nichols||Democrat||1978–1982||Ruth U. Keeton, Elizabeth Bobo, Lloyd G. Knowles, Virginia M. Thomas, Thomas M. Yeager|
|William E. Eakle||Democrat||1982-1986||Ruth U. Keeton, Elizabeth Bobo, James C. Clark, C. Vernon Gray, Lloyd G. Knowles|
|Elizabeth Bobo||Democrat||1986–1990||Angela Beltram, C. Vernon Gray, Shane Pendergrass, Ruth Keeton, Charles Feaga|
|Charles I. Ecker||Republican||1990–1994||Darrel E. Drown, C. Vernon Gray, Shane Pendergrass, Paul R. Farragut, Charles Feaga|
|Charles I. Ecker||Republican||1994–1998||Darrel E. Drown, C. Vernon Gray, Dennis R. Schrader, Mary C. Lorsung, Charles Feaga|
|James N. Robey||Democrat||1998–2002||Christopher J. Merdon, C. Vernon Gray, Guy Guzzone, Mary C. Lorsung, Allan H. Kittleman|
|James N. Robey||Democrat||2002–2006||Christopher J. Merdon, David A. Rakes (Calvin Ball-appointed), Guy Guzzone, Ken Ulman, Allan H. Kittleman (Charles C. Feaga-appointed)|
|Kenneth Ulman||Democrat||2006–2010||Courtney Watson, Calvin Ball, Jen Terrasa, Mary Kay Sigaty, Greg Fox|
|Kenneth Ulman||Democrat||2010–2014||Courtney Watson, Calvin Ball, Jen Terrasa, Mary Kay Sigaty, Greg Fox|
Statistics for November 2012 indicate that Howard County’s unemployment rate decreased to 4.6 percent from 4.7 percent in October, the lowest in Maryland. The County has consistently maintained the lowest rates of unemployment in the state and remains nearly 2 percent lower than the State-wide unemployment rate of 6.4 for the same time period.
The top ten private sector employers in Howard County are as follows:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory||4,700|
|3||Lorien Health Systems||2,000|
|4||Howard County General Hospital||1,728|
|5||Howard Community College||1,290|
|8||The Columbia Association||900|
Awards and recognitions achieved by Howard County or locations within it include the following:
- "Best American Values", Newsmax Magazine: Ellicott City #17 (2009).
- "Best Place to Live", CNN/Money: Ellicott City/Columbia (#8 in 2012; #2 in 2010; #8 in 2008; #4 in 2006.)
- "Best Places to Live for Pet Lovers", CNN/Money: Ellicott City, one of 10 (2009).
- "Best Place to Raise a Family", Forbes: #17 (2008).
- "Good Sports Community of the Year", Sports Illustrated (2005)
- "Great Public Library System", Hennen's American Public Library Ratings: #4 in population category in 2010; 8 times appearing in top 10 in a 10-year range.
- "Healthiest Maryland County", University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. (2013, 2012, 2011, 2010)
- "Heart Safe Community of the Year", International Association of Fire Chiefs. (2012)
- "Library of the Year", Library Journal. (2013)
- "Preserve America Community", Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. (2013)
- Top Outdoor Concert Venue for Merriweather Post Pavilion (a top five) by Pollstar (2012).
- "Tree City Community", Arbor Day Foundation. (23 years)
- "Venues that Rock", Rolling Stone: #4 outdoor venue, Merriweather Post Pavilion (2013).
- "Winning Community", National Civic League. (2001)
Culture and attractions
- Ballet Royale Institute of Maryland
- Blandair, an open space preserve
- Bollman Truss Railroad Bridge
- The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company
- Clark's Elioak Farm
- The Columbia Orchestra
- Ellicott City Station
- The Enchanted Forest (Closed – Some features relocated to Clark's Elioak Farm)
- Historic Ellicott City Main Street
- Howard County Center for the Arts
- Howard County Library
- Larriland Pick-Your-Own Farm
- Merriweather Post Pavilion
- Rep Stage
- James and Anne Robinson Nature Center
- Savage Mill
- Shrine of St. Anthony
- Toby's Dinner Theatre
- The Candlelight Concert Society (Candlelight)
Unincorporated census-designated places
Howard County has no incorporated municipalities.
Unincorporated areas are considered as towns by many people, and listed in many collections of towns, but they lack local governments or elected leaders. Various organizations, such as the United States Census Bureau, the United States Postal Service, and local chambers of commerce, define the communities they wish to recognize differently, and since they are not incorporated, their boundaries have no official status outside the organizations in question. The Census Bureau recognizes the following census-designated places in the county:
- Ellicott City
- Jessup (a portion is also in Anne Arundel County)
- North Laurel
- Savage-Guilford (a combination of the communities of Savage and Guilford recognized as a unit by the Census Bureau)
Other entities, such as the United States Postal Service, use a different selection of local place names. In all these cases, since the places are unincorporated, the boundaries are determined by the classifying authority. Unincorporated places not listed as Census-Designated Places but known in the area include:
- Hanover (a portion is also in Anne Arundel County)
- Henryton (primarily in Carroll County)
- Marriottsville (a portion is also in Carroll County and Baltimore County)
- Mount Airy (a portion is also in Carroll County and Frederick County)
- Sykesville (primarily in Carroll County)
- West Friendship
Howard County does not have any public or commercial airport facilities. There are two privately owned airstrips, Glenair in Glenwood, Maryland, and Haysfield Airport in Ellicott City, Maryland. Commercial air service is provided at the nearby BWI Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport.
Bus routes that operate in Howard County are managed by multiple services, including Howard Transit, Connect a Ride, The Maryland Transit Administration, Commuter Solutions of Howard County, and Neighbor Ride.
Howard County contains two primary Interstate highways: Interstate 70 which runs east-west across the northern portion of the county and Interstate 95 which enters the county in Elkridge and runs north-south to North Laurel, then crossing into Prince George's County.
Other major routes include U.S. Route 29, which runs from its northern terminus at MD 99 in Ellicott City into Montgomery County, Maryland Route 100 which provides quick access to BWI Airport from Ellicott City and Columbia, and Maryland Route 32 links the northwest suburbs of West Friendship, Glenelg, and Clarksville with Columbia and Fort Meade.
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- Joshua Dorsey Warfield. The founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland. p. 522.
- Moss, Paulina C; Levirn Hill, Howard County Center of African American Culture (2002). Seeking freedom : a history of the underground railroad in Howard County, Maryland. Columbia, MD: Howard County Center of African American Culture. OCLC 50728274.
- Maryland Geological Survey Report on the Highways of Maryland. 1899. p. 239.
- "Commissioners are Indicted". Times Dispatch. September 15, 1907.
- "From Greater Production to More Efficiency". March 31, 1965.
- Weingroff, Richard F. "Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, Creating the Interstate System". Retrieved November 9, 2010.
- Edward Walsh (June 14, 1972). "Recreation Park Planners Woo Howard County". The Washington Post.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.
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- Joseph R. Mitchell, David Stebenne. New City Upon a Hill: A History of Columbia, Maryland. p. 21.
- Pamela Wood and Joe Burris (27 March 2014). "Suburban counties gain population, Baltimore loses Howard sees largest percentage gain; Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Harford and Carroll counties grow". The Baltimore Sun.
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- "Clark Airs Howard Plan". Morning Sun. February 12, 1965.
- Peter C Muncie (November 3, 1968). "5 counties to pick government form". The Baltimore Sun.
- The founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland.
- Maryland State Manual Vol 154. p. 56.
- Maryland State Manual Vol 113. p. 199.
- Maryland Manual Vol 117. p. 254.
- Maryland Manual Vol 120. p. 163.
- Maryland Manual Vol 121. p. 163.
- Maryland Manual Vol 123. p. 193.
- The Washington Times. 21 June 1919.
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- Maryland Manual Vol 147. p. 194.
- Maryland Manual Vol 151. p. 200.
- Maryland State Manual vol 167. p. 294.
- Maryland State Manual Vol 169. p. 364.
- "Maryland State Archives". Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- "Ruth U. Keeton Dies at 78; Led Howard County Council". The Washington Post. 16 November 1997.
- Maryland State Manual vol 180. p. 497.
- Maryland State Manual vol 181. p. 553.
- "HOWARD COUNTY; Ecker Reelected; Republicans to Control Council". The Washington Post. 9 November 1994.
- "Howard County; Democrat Robey Wins Executive Contest". The Washington Post. 14 November 1998.
- "Howard County Council". Washington Post. 22 April 2004.
- "Howard County Council". Washington Post. 27 April 2006.
- Howard County Economic Development Authority
- "News briefs". Daily Record. May 15, 2009. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
- "Best Places to Live". CNN/Money Magazine. 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "Best Places to Live". CNN/Money Magazine. 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "Best Places to Live". CNN/Money Magazine. 2008. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "Best Places to Live". CNN/Money Magazine. 2006. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- Palmer, Kimberly (August 17, 2009). "10 Best Places to Live for Pet Lovers". Money Magazine. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- Greenberg, Zack O'Malley (June 27, 2008). "In Depth: America's Best Places To Raise A Family". Forbes. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "Howard County, Maryland: A GOOD SPORTS COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR". Sports Illustrated. December 7, 2005. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- Great Public Library Systems "Top Ten Libraries in Population Category". Hennen's American Public Library Ratings. 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "Libraries by Frequency in Top Ten". Hennen's American Public Library Ratings. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "Robert Wood Johnson Foundation". Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- "County Health Rankings & Roadmaps: Overall rank 2012". countyhealthrankings.org. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "County Health Rankings & Roadmaps: Overall rank 2011". countyhealthrankings.org. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "County Health Rankings & Roadmaps: Overall rank 2010". countyhealthrankings.org. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- Rice, Kristine (June 1, 2012). "Heart Safe Community Awards". American Safety & Health Institute. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "Library Journal". Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "Advisory Council on Historic Preservation". Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "Pollstar Awards Archive". Pollstar. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "2012 Tree City USA Communities". Arbor Day Foundation. April 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "Venues that Rock".
- "All-America Cities 1949–2012". National Civic League. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "NASR Airports".
- "Transit Services". Retrieved October 6, 2010.
- Official website
- Howard County, Maryland at the Wayback Machine (archived September 26, 2003)
- Howard County, Maryland at the Wayback Machine (archived November 1, 1996)
||Frederick County||Carroll County||Baltimore County|
|Prince George's County||Anne Arundel County|