Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the underlying ratings on Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission senior lien revenue bonds to A1 from Aa3. The rating action affects $3.1 billion in outstanding debt.
The turnpike has had continued underperformance in revenues and traffic, compared to a consultant's predictions, Moody's stated. "In addition, traffic diversion to alternative free routes by price sensitive commercial users coupled with shifting residential demographics including an aging population, weak population growth, urbanization and out migration of native residents lead us to believe that flat to minimal traffic growth can be expected for some time."
Additionally, the commission expects to borrow a significant amount of money in the near future.
These facts led to the Moody's action. The outlook is stable.