Pennsylvania Turnpike to resume mass transit borrowing

Tony Romeo
May 20, 2019 - 2:22 pm
Pennsylvania Turnpike

HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has decided to resume borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars for SEPTA and other mass transit systems in the state.

The borrowing had been suspended due to a lawsuit.  

The Pennsylvania Turnpike generates $450 million dollars a year for mass transit, $400 million of it from borrowing.

A resulting lawsuit brought by truckers was dismissed, but the truckers immediately appealed.

After getting positive feedback from the bond market, however, the Turnpike Commission has now authorized $800 million in borrowing.

The money is expected to make good on missed mass transit payments in this fiscal year and to make payments due in the next fiscal year.

Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo says despite the ongoing litigation, the timing is good.

“One of the reasons why the Turnpike commissioners decided to move ahead with this is because of the fact that there are very favorable bond market conditions right now,” he said.

However, the $800 million in borrowing will add to the turnpike’s already staggering debt and long-term funding for mass transit remains a problem.