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Fri, Dec 18, 2015

Valley Metro Credit Rating Strong

Fitch affirms strong credit rating for Valley Metro

PHOENIX, AZ –Fitch Ratings, a global leader in credit ratings and research, has affirmed the rating for Valley Metro’s outstanding tax-exempt bonds as AA with a stable outlook. Details available at: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151210005965/en/Fitch-Affirms-Regional-Public-Transportation-Authority-AZs

In affirming the rating, Fitch cited the sound long-term economic outlook for the region and Valley Metro’s flexibility in managing its capital program.

“Through the recession, Valley Metro was able to defer fleet replacements and build up a cash balance to meet the upcoming capital needs,” said John McCormack, Valley Metro Chief Financial Officer. “The annual Transit Life Cycle Program (TLCP) evaluates the long range program of projects to ensure revenues and expenditures are balanced. The TLCP plans the minimum amount of debt necessary to meet the agency’s commitment to deliver the capital projects that Maricopa County voters approved in 2004.”

Valley Metro has limited plans for issuing additional debt as Proposition 400 approaches the halfway point of its 20-year authorization. In 2004, Maricopa County voters approved to continue a one-half cent sales tax through December 31, 2025 to improve transportation infrastructure and public transit services.

Fitch cited the limited additional debt and the continuing high debt service coverage, well above the minimum required by policy, as additional support in affirming the AA rating.

About Valley Metro: Valley Metro provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County including the planning and operations of a regional bus system and the development and operations of 23 miles of light rail. In Fiscal Year 2015, total ridership for the system was 71 million passengers. Six light rail extensions are planned or are under construction that will create a 66-mile system by 2034. Valley Metro also offers transit options including alternative transportation programs for seniors and people with disabilities, commuter vanpools, online carpool matching, bus trip mapping, bicycle safety and telework assistance. Two Boards of Directors set the policy direction for the agency with the intent of advancing the regional public transit system. Get the latest news by following us on Facebook and Twitter or visiting valleymetro.org.

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