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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

$161-Million Bonds Sold for MTA Projects

November 15, 2000

LOS ANGELES — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority sold $161.4 million in bonds Tuesday to finance acquisition of new light rail cars, and pay for highway projects and the cost of a canceled subway line to the Eastside.

The long-term debt replaces short-term financing used by the MTA to temporarily cover the cost of those projects as well as $6 million spent on new bus facilities, said Terry Matsumoto, the agency's treasurer and executive officer for finance.

Sale of the bonds leaves the amount of outstanding debt issued by the MTA at about $3.5 billion. When interest expenses and costs associated with the bond issues are included, the total amount to be repaid over the next 30 years, doubles to about $7 billion.

The debt must be repaid from a share of two half-cent transit sales taxes approved by Los Angeles County voters.

Matsumoto said the MTA received bids on the Internet from four Wall Street brokerages interested in selling the bonds to investors. The winning bidder was Bear Stearns, which offered an overall interest rate of 5.28%.

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