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Sound Transit sells $477 million in 'green bonds' to fund light rail

The transaction marks Sound Transit's second green bond sale.
Photo – Sound Transit

Sound Transit has completed the sale of $477 million worth of "green bonds" to help fund voter-approved regional transit projects, including building more than 90 miles of light-rail extensions.

Green bonds signal to investors that a seller plans to use the proceeds to advance environmental sustainability. Sound Transit's credibility as a green bond issuer derives in part from its construction and operation of transit services that are considered more sustainable than other transportation options, agency officials said in a press release.

"Every dollar we save in borrowing costs is one less dollar the taxpayers must pay to build our future transit system," said Sound Transit Chief Executive Officer Peter Rogoff. "Borrowing at these historically low rates will also insulate us from potential market downturns in the future."

The most recent sale of green bonds is Sound Transit's second; the agency in August 2015 issued nearly $1 billion worth of the bonds.

In issuing the new bonds following last month's passage of the Sound Transit 3 measure, the agency received a rating upgrade from Moody's for its most senior bonds, which have now received the company's highest rating.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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