KEY RATING DRIVERS
Mature Bridge Traffic Subsidizes Transit:
Demonstrated Rate Making Flexibility:
Considerable On-going Capital Investment Required: The district requires continual capital expenditures to maintain the system. It is currently working to a 10-year capital plan of
Modest Non-Amortizing CP Debt Profile: The district pays interest only on its CP notes, which are rolled over within a program stretching to 2030. While the district is exposed to variable interest rates when rolling CP, Fitch is comfortable that the impact of this should be small given the relative size of its
Low Leverage Produces Strong Metrics. The district's debt exposure is small relative to available resources - its current net debt to cash flow available for debt service (CFADS) ratio is -10.9x, reflecting high degree of liquidity, equating to approximately 457 day's cash on hand in fiscal 2013. The district's interest cover ratio (ICR) of 127.4x for fiscal 2013 reflects operating grants included as a revenue source, the very low interest rate payable on current CP of 0.18%, as well as the district's very low gross leverage.
Fitch currently maintains an 'F1+' short-term rating on the CP notes, which reflects the district's own financial resources and market access as well as a liquidity facility provided by
--Significant reduction in operating and capital grants
--Significant reduction of cash balances (Excluding the
--Failure to adjust tolls and control expenses in a manner sufficient to maintain healthy financial ratios consistent with past performance;
--Significant loss of traffic as result of economic factors or a one-time event such as an earthquake or terrorist attack.
The notes are secured by operating revenue and local operating assistance net of operation and maintenance expenses and by the line of credit from
The District implemented an all-electronic tolling system in
The district continues to maintain powerful rate-making flexibility. Previous bridge toll increases in 1989, 1991 and 2002 increased bridge revenue 25%, 36% and 33%, respectively, with only small corresponding changes in traffic of +1%, -3% and -4.5%. A toll increase in fiscal 2009 increased revenue 14% and traffic fell 3%. Fitch considers the district's economic rate-making flexibility in conjunction with its formidable reserves- it held
Bridge traffic was down 0.2% in fiscal 2013 while revenue was down 0.5%. Fiscal 2013 ferry revenue was up 6% while ridership was up 6%. Bus revenue was up 3.5% while ridership was up 1.5%.
Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.
--'Rating Criteria for Infrastructure and Project Finance,' (
--'Rating Criteria for Toll Roads, Bridges, and Tunnels' - (
Rating Criteria for Infrastructure and Project Finance
Rating Criteria for Toll Roads, Bridges, and Tunnels --- Effective
Saavan Gatfield, +1-212-908-0542
Source: Fitch Ratings
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