AAA-rated VIA sells bonds to advance CNG fleet conversion
SAN ANTONIO (February 3, 2017) — VIA Metropolitan Transit announced the sale of $82 million in MTA Contractual Obligation Bonds to help finance the purchase of 270 Compressed Natural Gas-fueled (CNG) buses as part of the agency’s SmartMove five-year capital plan.
VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority earned a “AAA” rating from Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Ratings Service. This rating allows VIA to take advantage of the lowest interest rates available, which means VIA will spend less on the repayment of the bonds and can invest more on providing services and amenities throughout the region.
Only 5 percent of municipal entities achieve a AAA rating, according to bond analysts. VIA's AAA rating reflects the agency’s sound stewardship of public resources, and is also reflective of the agency’s strong management and financial practices.
VIA’s multi-year plan to purchase these clean-energy vehicles is designed to replace aging buses in its current fleet. The vehicles scheduled for replacement are at least 15 years old. The agency’s fleet expansion will reduce operating costs and allow the agency to carry out planned service enhancements.
“VIA’s plan to finance the CNG vehicle purchase through bonding allows us to continue to advance projects and meet the needs of our growing region within our limited resources, while being prudent fiscal stewards and maintaining our AAA rating,” VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “Replacing the oldest vehicles in our fleet with CNG buses will result in a significant emissions reduction for the region and furthers VIA’s commitment to environmental sustainability.”
VIA Metropolitan Transit provides regional multimodal transportation options that connect our community to opportunity, support economic vitality, and enhance quality of life throughout our region. VIA, recognized by the Texas Transit Association as the outstanding Metro Transit Authority of the year, serves 14 member cities and the unincorporated areas of Bexar County, operating seven days a week on 90 routes. In 2015, VIA provided 42.2 million rides across the region. VIA’s AAA bond rating reflects the organization’s sound management and financial practices. Visit www.VIAinfo.net for more information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.