Fitch Ratings assigns an 'AA-' to Maryland Transportation Authority's
(MdTA) approximately $67 million transportation facilities projects
revenue refunding bonds, series 2012. Additionally, Fitch affirms the
approximately $2.3 billion of outstanding transportation facilities
project revenue bonds at 'AA-'. The Rating Outlook is Stable.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
--CRITICAL TRANSPORTATION NETWORK: MdTA revenues are derived from a
diverse system of six mature assets and the Intercounty Connector (ICC)
that provide critical transportation links in a high volume market with
limited competing facilities. The affluent metropolitan statistical area
(MSA) of Baltimore and Washington D.C. also provide the authority with a
high level of economic rate-making ability.
--DEMONSTRATED TOLL INCREASES: The authority has historically
demonstrated strong ability to raise rates to maintain strong financial
performance and to meet internal policies (maintaining coverage above
2.0 times [x], unencumbered cash above $350 million, and a statutory
bond cap of $3 billion).
--STRONG FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE: MdTA has a demonstrated track record of
producing solid debt service coverage ratios and retains a high level of
--PRUDENT CAPITAL PLANNING: The authority's facilities are in good
condition. The $2.2 billion 2012 - 2017 capital program balances system
preservation and addresses congestion relief and service enhancements.
The program is funded by solid balance between debt funding and pay-go.
WHAT CAN TRIGGER A RATING ACTION
--Under-performance of traffic and revenue, future toll rate increases
that do not preserve financial margins, unmanageable expense growth, and
growing deferral of life cycle preservation cost would pressure
The bonds are primarily secured by the net revenues of the
transportation facilities projects.