With $960,000 in a federal funding grant, Howard County will be better connected to Baltimore suburbs with two heavy-duty transit buses, which will allow for more accessible local transit options for commuters, according to a press release from U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin.

The Maryland Department of Transportation and Howard County will be able to use the funds to purchase the new buses, which will be used to extend Route 409 by 5 miles from its existing endpoint in Elkridge in Howard County to Lansdowne Station in Baltimore County.

Cardin and U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, along with Congressman John Sarbanes — whose district includes Howard County — and Kweisi Mfume announced they secured the grant on Tuesday. The funds come from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Buses and Bus Facilities Grant Program under the Federal Transit Administration.

The grant program aims to make federal funds available to local jurisdictions to replace, rehabilitate and buy buses as well as equipment to help construct bus-related facilities, according to the grant’s website.

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“Mobility and connectivity across our public transportation system drive economic growth and expand equity. Connecting Howard County with the greater Baltimore region with new, modern buses is a win-win for the region and for our collective effort to address the on-going climate crisis,” Cardin said in the press release.

In May, Cardin, Van Hollen and Sarbanes wrote to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to support a $960,000 funding request from the county.

“This request will support the partners’ goals to expand and improve service and bridge gaps in the transit network into Baltimore County. … This extension will provide additional local transit as well as completing an important connection to regional service extending into Baltimore City,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.

Sarbanes said in the press release that the two new buses will not only help with residents’ access to reliable transportation — they will also help to advance social equity and enable more economic opportunity.

In a statement, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball thanked President Joe Biden and the lawmakers who made the federal grant possible.

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“Together, we are building a green, reliable, and accessible transportation system for all,” Ball said.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct that the grant was announced on Tuesday.