Massive borrowing and fewer-than-expected toll payers on the Pennsylvania Turnpike have prompted a downgrade in the Turnpike Commission's bond rating. Moody's Investors Service has lowered the rating to A1 from Aa3 on $3.1 billion of senior lien revenue bonds.
Moody's cited the Turnpike Commission's massive borrowing to pay for statewide road and transit projects, "continued underperformance of its traffic and revenues compared to . . . forecasts," and higher-than-forecast toll increases.
The commission is about $7.5 billion in debt, largely because state Act 44 compels it to pay $450 million a year for non-turnpike projects, in addition to paying for turnpike maintenance and expansion.