The Point: Upgrade to Commission’s debt rating a result of I-15 Express Lanes exceeding performance metrics  

Fitch Ratings, the New York-based provider of credit ratings that provides assessments about the creditworthiness of government agencies, corporations, and other entities, recently announced an upgrade to RCTC’s debt rating associated with the funding of the I-15 Express Lanes. RCTC financed a portion of the project through a $152.2 million federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan. The I-15 Express Lanes opened April 2021 and exceeded baseline performance metrics, prompting Fitch to upgrade the loan rating from ‘BBB-‘ to ‘BBB+’.

January RCA Instagram

“The improved debt rating signals the trust and confidence earned through RCTC’s financial stewardship, and represents a long-standing commitment to transparency, disclosure, and excellence in financial reporting,” said RCTC Chair and City of Beaumont Councilmember Lloyd White.

Fitch announced the rating upgrade for the TIFIA loan at the end of December, while also affirming its rating (BBB+) and upgrading the debt outlook to positive for RCTC’s 91 toll revenue bonds – reflecting the strong traffic and revenue levels on the 91 Express Lanes.

In October, RCTC was also recognized with a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting – the 30th consecutive year the agency has been awarded with such an honor – capping off another strong year of financial performance and related reporting. The award is issued by the Government Finance Officers Association annually to state and local governments who exceed minimum financial reporting requirements.