Market 'favorable' for Pa. Turnpike to consider borrowing money for transit

Tony Romeo
May 08, 2019 - 4:00 am
Highway signs.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Despite ongoing litigation, the Pennsylvania Turnpike has gotten a positive response from the bond market as it considers whether to resume borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars for mass transit. 

The Pennsylvania Turnpike generates $450 million a year for mass transit, most of it from borrowing. A resulting lawsuit brought by truckers was dismissed last month, but the truckers immediately appealed and the Turnpike Commission has so far not resumed borrowing. 

Related: Pa. Turnpike wins first round in lawsuit over transit funding borrowing

But spokesman Carl Defebo says the Turnpike Commission, after gauging investor interest, has gotten favorable feedback about a possible new bond issue.   

“I think it’s safe to say that the Turnpike is working toward the bond issue. It’s just premature at this point to say with 100 percent certainty that we’re moving ahead," Defebo said. 

But DeFebo says the Turnpike Commission is assembling a team of bond lawyers and financial advisors. 

Borrowing for transportation mandated by a 2007 law accounts for more than half of the Turnpike’s staggering debt of nearly $12 billion.