Press Release|Public Finance

KBRA Affirms AA- Rating on Chicago Transit Authority Series 2016A (Rail Fleet Renewal Project ) TIFIA Bonds, and Series 2015 (Your New Blue Project) TIFIA Bonds; Outlook is Stable

5 Apr 2024   |   New York


KBRA affirms the long-term rating of AA- for the Chicago Transit Authority Series 2016A TIFIA Bonds (Rail Fleet Renewal Project) and Series 2015 TIFIA Bonds (Your New Blue Project). The Outlook is Stable.

Key Credit Considerations

The rating was affirmed because of the following key credit considerations:

Credit Positives

  • The CTA public transit system provides an essential service to the greater Chicago metropolitan area.
  • The gross revenue pledge supports currently robust coverage of TIFIA loan debt service.

Credit Challenges

  • CTA’s $2.0 billion FY 2024 proposed operating budget includes a gap of $472.5 million, to be closed with Federal relief funds. CTA faces a funding cliff upon expiration of Federal stimulus relief in 2025.
  • A high fixed-cost structure contributes to a lack of operating expense flexibility.
  • Liquidity is low and could be pressured if the springing funding requirement for the TIFIA loan debt service reserve is triggered.

Rating Sensitivities

For Upgrade

  • Identification of one or more permanent, alternative sources of revenues enabling budgetary balance in 2025 and beyond.
  • Sustained annual increases in total operating revenue that outpace growth in operating expenditure.
  • A significant and sustained improvement in system liquidity.

For Downgrade

  • A worsening trend of structurally unbalanced financial operations and/or a significant decline in system liquidity.
  • Inability to achieve long-term structural balance will pressure the rating.

To access rating and relevant documents, click here.



A description of all substantially material sources that were used to prepare the credit rating and information on the methodology(ies) (inclusive of any material models and sensitivity analyses of the relevant key rating assumptions, as applicable) used in determining the credit rating is available in the Information Disclosure Form(s) located here.

Information on the meaning of each rating category can be located here.

Further disclosures relating to this rating action are available in the Information Disclosure Form(s) referenced above. Additional information regarding KBRA policies, methodologies, rating scales and disclosures are available at

About KBRA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency, LLC (KBRA) is a full-service credit rating agency registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as an NRSRO. Kroll Bond Rating Agency Europe Limited is registered as a CRA with the European Securities and Markets Authority. Kroll Bond Rating Agency UK Limited is registered as a CRA with the UK Financial Conduct Authority. In addition, KBRA is designated as a designated rating organization by the Ontario Securities Commission for issuers of asset-backed securities to file a short form prospectus or shelf prospectus. KBRA is also recognized by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners as a Credit Rating Provider.

Doc ID: 1003842

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