Octa's transportation blog

Continued Top Bond Rating Reflects Strength of 91 Express Lanes

One of the nation’s leading bond agencies recently reaffirmed the financial strength of the 91 Express Lanes. Citing OCTA’s long-established pattern of solid financial performance and strong governance, Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P) renewed the AA- rating for the 91 Express Lanes senior lien toll revenue bonds debt.

In reaffirming the rating with a stable outlook, S&P noted the 91 Express Lanes’ experienced management team, strong financials and continued traffic growth, particularly since extending the facility into Riverside County in 2017. In fiscal year 2019, 17.5 million vehicles drove through the 91 Express Lanes, up from 16.7 million in 2018 and 14.4 million 2017.

OCTA has a demonstrated history of operating performance, consistently providing good conservative budgeting and accurate planning forecasts, according to S&P.

“The 91 Express Lanes is a model for congestion-management pricing, providing an innovative option for the tens of thousands of drivers who are looking for a reliable free-flowing commute,” said OCTA CEO Darrell E. Johnson.

The 91 Express Lanes is a four-lane toll road, with 10 miles in Orange County in the median of State Route 91, one of Southern California’s most heavily traveled freeways and a critical link between job centers in Orange County and housing in Riverside County.

Operated by the Riverside County, an additional 8 miles of the 91 Express Lanes opened in March 2017.

This is the first fully automated toll road in the world and the first in the United States to employ variable pricing, With two lanes in each direction, toll prices vary by hour, day,  and direction of travel based on an OCTA policy that optimizes traffic at free-flow speeds.

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