TriMet is tops with three triple A tax bond ratings!


Reports reflect TriMet’s financial stability

TriMet continues its practice of setting the pace, becoming the first transit agency nationwide to have a tax-backed bond—our Senior Lien Payroll Tax Revenue Bonds, Series 2018A—rated triple A by three top rating agencies: Moody’s (Aaa); Standard & Poor’s Global (AAA); and KBRA Kroll Bond Rating Agency (AAA). All three rating agencies issued their opinions—which reflect the credit worthiness of government bonds—at the end of May, 2018. Credit strengths noted in the reports include:

  • Extremely high coverage of debt service by pledged revenues.
  • A sizeable and diverse economic base from where the pledged revenues are derived.
  • The State Legislature’s ability and historic willingness to increase the payroll tax rate to fund transportation.

The rating agencies were also impressed with the sound management practices surrounding TriMet’s debt management and approach to funding first, Pension Plans, then OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits). Moody’s adds “TriMet has a long term track record of delivering large capital projects on time and on budget.” Having three triple A ratings is a first for TriMet after receiving two triple A ratings on its Senior Lien Payroll Tax Revenue Bonds since 2017.

“This achievement is such a unique honor and reflects on TriMet’s strong fiscal management and overall efficiency,” said Doug Kelsey, TriMet General Manager.

The three rating agencies issued their opinions in advance of TriMet bonds being priced on Wed., June 6, 2018. The bond proceeds will generate $168 million in funding for transit-related capital projects from fiscal years 2019 through 2022. The par amount will be in the $144-$147 million range but with premium will generate $168 M. The projects include:

  • Replacement of Fixed Route Buses
  • Construction of the Powell Bus Garage
  • Phase 1 – Replacement of Type I Light Rail Vehicles
  • Advancement of the Division Transit project
  • Phase I – 4th Bus Base Facility

Read: Moody’s Investor Service Credit Opinion , S&P Global Credit Rating Report,  and KBRA Kroll Bond Rating Agency Report