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Released: 11/1/2017 

DRPA Announces Bond Rating Upgrades by Moody's Investors Service

Rating Agency points to Authority’s strong fiscal management, positive growth in bridge traffic volume, strong liquidity reserves and regional economic recovery

The Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA), today announced that Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the Authority’s Revenue Bonds to “A2” from a previous rating of “A3”. Moody’s also upgraded the Authority’s Port District Project Bonds to “Baa2 from “Baa3”, both with a stable outlook.

In announcing the ratings upgrades, Moody’s pointed to positive momentum in bridge traffic volumes, the DRPA’s strong liquidity position and reserves, good expenditure control, and the Authority’s ability to execute and fund its 5-year Capital Plan through its internally generated and “pay-go” capital funds, with no additional debt financing. 

“This most recent ratings upgrade from Moody’s follows similar good news as relates to the Authority’s S&P bond ratings,” said Ryan N. Boyer, DRPA’s Board Chair. “It is especially gratifying to have the hard work and fiscal responsibility of the entire DRPA/PATCO team recognized and, in fact, validated by the independent ratings agencies. I’m sure I speak on behalf of our entire Board of Commissioners when I offer my heartfelt congratulations to our CEO, John Hanson, our CFO, Jim White, and every member of DRPA/PATCO leadership and staff. While our work is far from complete, this is truly news worth celebrating.”

“Over the last several years, in partnership and with the support of our Board of Commissioners, we have introduced a series of shared values which directly communicate our core mission to every member of the DRPA/PATCO team,” said DRPA CEO John T. Hanson. “At the center of our shared values is the idea of being responsible stewards of the public assets with which we are entrusted. The recent S&P ratings affirmation, and this ratings upgrade from Moody’s, show that our teams are embracing these concepts for the benefit of the general public. These actions will allow us to access the bond markets under more favorable terms and continue to maintain these critical infrastructure assets.”

“My congratulations to the entire DRPA/PATCO team for a continued job well done,” said DRPA Vice Chair Jeff Nash. “The recent actions by Moody’s and S&P are potent indicators that the Authority is moving in the right direction. We’re in a strong financial position, functioning with greater efficiency and transparency, and we remain focused on our primary goal – maintaining the bridges and the PATCO rail line, all of which are indispensable in ensuring the economic health and continued growth of our region. This is another of what I am sure will be continued positive milestones for the Authority and I applaud and support the continued efforts of every member of the team.“

This most recent affirmation is one in a series of successes for the DRPA. In 2013, the Authority received an upgrade on its S&P Revenue Bonds rating, from “A-“ to “A”. In 2016, the DRPA’s Port District Project Bond ratings were increased by S&P by two notches, from “BBB” to “A-.” Also in 2016, the DRPA issued the first credits to participants in the “Frequent Bridge Commuter Program,” which was launched in December of the previous year. 2016 DRPA revenues were more than $354.7 million, the highest level in the Authority’s history. In addition, DRPA and PATCO have continued their long history of controlling actual annual expenses to be under budget. These successes reflect the commitment from Authority personnel at all levels to manage operations and administrative functions as efficiently and effectively as possible.

To view the Moody’s Investors Service report, visit here.

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