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Sound Transit, Feds Agree to Low Interest Rates on $2 Billion in Transportation Funding

If getting low interest rates from the federal government on money borrowed to finance transportation projects sounds like a national infrastructure bank, you're on the right track.
December 23, 2016, 9am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"The federal government signed an agreement Thursday that would allow Sound Transit to borrow $1.99 billion during the next few years at low interest rates to build 20 miles of light-rail extensions," reports Mike Lindblom.

The Master Credit Agreement, as the deal is called, is similar to a national infrastructure bank, explains Lindblom, "offering low rates and deferred repayment spread over 35 years." Sound Transit is the first signee on the Master Credit Agreement (MCA), which is administered by the Build America Bureau at the federal level. "Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is leveraging the pact for national publicity in hopes to encourage other regions to apply," adds Lindblom. A press release from the U.S. Department of Transportation has more details on the MCA with Sound Transit, and the potential of similar deals in other parts of the city. 

With the agreement in place, "Sound Transit executives think they’ll save the equivalent of $200 million to $300 million worth of capital spending, and help make the vast construction plan recession-proof for several years."

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Published on Thursday, December 22, 2016 in The Seattle Times
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