The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) issued $798 million in bonds to finance capital projects which reduce energy consumption.
The bonds mature between 2025 and 2053, yielding between 2.99% and 4.14%. They received a rating of AA from Kroll Bond Rating Agency and AA from S&P Global Ratings, which assigned a stable outlook.
“The stable outlook reflects our view of the strong relationship, long-term funding commitments, and ongoing essentiality of WMATA services in the region, as well as our stable outlooks on the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia,” according to S&P.
The bonds will fund a portion of WMATA’s Energy Action Plan, which the authority introduced in 2019 to become more sustainable and cost-effective. WMATA expects that implementing the plan will reduce energy price increases by $16 million annually.
“This Energy Action Plan is central to transforming the way Metro does business to realize an efficient and sustainable future,” according to WMATA.
Proceeds from the sale of the bonds will support green infrastructure and climate resiliency projects. These include fare collection modernization efforts, investment in zero-emissions buses, sustainably constructed buildings at bus facilities, and upgrades to WMATA’s power system to support more 8-car trains.
WMATA serves almost one million riders per day across Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. The bonds are special obligations of WMATA, payable by a lien pledge of capital funding revenue from those three areas.
Wells Fargo Bank, NA, served as lead underwriter on the issuance, purchasing the bonds for $871 million. The price reflected an original issue premium of $75 million.