Media & Public Relations

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William Capone
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
(717) 939-9551 ext. 3040

April 29, 2008


PA Turnpike Makes Fourth Act 44 Payment
To Honor $750 Million First-Year Obligation

Turnpike funding is unparalleled among transportation-financing initiatives nationwide.

HARRISBURG, PA (04/29/2008) -- Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission executives this morning transferred a fourth transportation payment of $229.2 million to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, bringing the Turnpike Commission’s total contribution since last August to $750 million. The payments — generated wholly by tolls and bonding on the existing 537-mile Turnpike system — are a part of Act 44, the measure signed into law last July to address Pennsylvania’s transportation-funding shortfall. With the payment, the Turnpike meets its first fiscal-year obligation to help PennDOT address a critical budget deficit affecting Pennsylvania’s highways, bridges and public-transportation systems.

“No other state in the nation has developed a transportation-funding program that matches the revenues we’re generating under Act 44 — all while keeping an historic asset under the commonwealth’s control,” said Turnpike CEO Joe Brimmeier. “We remain committed to implementing Act 44 and to seeing this process through to completion. The stakes are too high for us to fall short.”

The Turnpike sold $245 million in new subordinate revenue bonds on April 17 to finance today’s Act 44 payment. Strong demand for the 2008A Bonds led to pricing levels that outperformed a number of comparable financings — a vote of confidence among the investment community.

“As a result of lowering initial offering yields, we were able to get a better deal for our customers and, ultimately, for the commonwealth,” said Turnpike Vice Chairman Timothy Carson. Carson called such strong demand and pricing levels “a clear sign that the market continues to have a high degree of confidence in the Turnpike Commission as well as our ability to deliver on our new Act-44 responsibilities.”

From today’s $229.2 million payment, the Pennsylvania Revenue Department will transfer $150 million to the Motor License Fund for road and bridge work while the remaining $79.2 million will go to the Public Transportation Trust Fund and the commonwealth’s 73 transit agencies.

Having completed its initial fiscal-year commitment under Act 44, the Turnpike’s FY-2009 payment now increases to $850 million. Accordingly, quarterly payments of $212.5 million will be made to the commonwealth in July and October this year and January and April 2009. Of the $850 million, $500 million will be dedicated to road and bridge projects with the remaining $350 million to aid the state’s transit agencies. The Turnpike’s FY-2010 payment increases to $900 million and then goes up 2.5 percent in 2011 and every year thereafter for the remainder of the 50-year agreement.

In all, the Turnpike expects to provide annual payments averaging more than $1 billion over the next 12 years and $1.67 billion annually over 50 years. Under Act 44, the Turnpike anticipates transferring a total of $83.3 billion to PennDOT over 50 years.

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