The public transit system serving Denver, Colorado, issued $170 million in bonds to refund a previous issuance.
The bonds, sold by Colorado’s Regional Transportation District (RTD), mature between 2026 and 2038, yielding between 3.02% and 3.69%. They pay interest at 5%. The securities received a rating of AAA from S&P Global Ratings and Aa2 from Moody’s Investors Service. The rating marked an upgrade from S&P.
“The raised rating reflects our expectation that RTD will maintain maximum annual debt service coverage well above very strong levels, supported by a large and resilient sales tax base and limited ability to issue additional sales tax debt on current authorizations,” S&P credit analyst Kayla Smith said in a press release.
The issuance comes as the public transit system’s pandemic recovery continues to lag. The RTD recorded 58 million revenue boardings last year, collecting $75 million in fare revenue. In 2019, the system recorded 95 million revenue boardings and brought in more than $150 million in fare revenue.
The bond proceeds will finance the purchase and refunding of bonds RTD issued in 2019 and 2021.
RTD serves more than 3 million people in the Denver-Boulder-Aurora combined statistical area. The bonds are special and limited obligations of RTD, payable by non-exclusive liens on some of its revenue.
Jefferies LLC served as lead underwriter on the issuance, purchasing the bonds for $189 million. The price reflected a premium of $19 million.