After months of negotiations, Governor Deval Patrick today announced that the Administration has reached agreement with financial institution UBS that will save the Commonwealth an estimated $71 million.
Due to five risky financial transactions – so-called "swaptions" – entered into by the Turnpike Authority in 2001, the Authority was at direct risk this year of having to pay UBS $261 million. Governor Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo passed historic transportation reform that improved the Authority's bond rating, negating the need to pay $190 million of that amount in July. While four of the five swaps were cured immediately, a fifth was at risk of being terminated by UBS, potentially costing the Commonwealth $71 million.
Under the terms of the deal negotiated by the Administration and signed with UBS, however, the July rating upgrade of the Turnpike Authority's MHS senior bonds to A- will be sufficient to prevent termination of the fifth swap.
"Today's announcement is another example of the progress we have been able to make as a result of transportation reform,” said incoming Transportation Secretary and MassDot CEO Jeff Mullan. “I want to thank Governor Patrick, my colleagues at the Turnpike Authority, EOT and the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, as well as the legislature for working with us to provide a more stable financial footing for the new Massachusetts DOT."
The rating upgrades were a result of the sweeping transportation reform that called for consolidation of the state’s fragmented transportation assets into a coordinated new entity called the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). Visit the MassDOT information center.
Bay State Bike Week is Almost Here! posted on Apr 29
What could be better than April breaking the 70 degree mark? The beginning of May, because we’re getting ready for Bay State Bike Week! Every May, Massachusetts residents and bike commuters come together to celebrate human-powered, two-wheeled transportation during Bay State Bike Week. This year, …Continue Reading Bay State Bike Week is Almost Here!
Ashland: Governor Baker Reviews MBTA Infrastructure Investments Progress posted on Apr 28
Governor Charlie Baker today visited a Keolis work site in Ashland to review the progress on infrastructure upgrades the MBTA is making as part of a larger effort the MBTA, its Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) and leadership are making to improve service, access, …Continue Reading Ashland: Governor Baker Reviews MBTA Infrastructure Investments Progress
Walk & Bike to School Day May 4th! posted on Apr 28
Students Across the Commonwealth Will Be Celebrating Massachusetts Walk and Bike To School Day on May 4th. Double knot those shoelaces, and pump up those tires as Massachusetts Walk and Bike to School day is fast approaching. This is the 7th consecutive year for the …Continue Reading Walk & Bike to School Day May 4th!