Link to article here.
The Indiana toll road value went from $3.8 Billion down to a pathetic $445 million. The foreign investors get to jack up the rates to cover their costs and milk taxpayers for profits, while Hoosier motorists have to pay increasingly aggressive tolls for 75 years. Who’s getting the sweetheart deal? Certainly not Indiana taxpayers. Truckers pay nearly $70 to use the road. Think our cost of goods isn’t going up to cover that kinda financial damage? Think again!
Toll-road lease tumbles in value
Ailing operator denies talk that it might sell its stake
Sat. August 01 – 2009 Peter Schnitzler – firstname.lastname@example.org Indiana Business Journal staff
The Indiana Toll Road lease is hundreds of pages long, all legal screed. It details the operators’ duties and every other obligation a legal team led by locally based Ice Miller LLP and Chicago-based Mayer Brown LLP could negotiate. State officials consider it unbreakable. And they say it anticipates every conceivable risk, including operator bankruptcy.
In a June 2009 report on the state of U.S. toll roads, Moody’s Investors Service gave the industry a negative outlook for the next year to 18 months, noting weak economic conditions have flattened traffic growth. On July 17, Macquarie reported revenue fell 5.1 percent on three of its four U.S. toll roads last year. The company also holds stakes in Chicago’s Skyway and Virginia’s Dulles Greenway. The exception was the South Bay Expressway in San Diego. Its traffic fell just 2.3 percent.“For the most part, toll roads have demonstrated pricing power and financial stability through aggressive toll increases, or the reduction or elimination of discounts,” according to Moody’s report. “Careful budgetary management, the deferral of some capital projects, and lower construction costs have allowed most toll roads to maintain solid cash flows and credit metrics.”