MST (quickly) closes on $8.45 million TIFIA loan under USDOT rural initiative

Nov. 2, 2020
The transit district will use the funding to construct a new 14,000-square-foot operations and maintenance facility.

Monterey-Salinas Transit District (MST) in Monterey County, Calif., closed on a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Rural Project Initiative (RPI) loan for up to $8.45 million on Oct. 29. The loan will be used to construct a 14,000-square-foot operations and maintenance facility from which the transit district will operate its south county services.  

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) provides TIFIA financing through the Build America Bureau.

“This loan was critical to completing the financing needed to finish construction and we worked collaboratively with our colleagues at the Build America Bureau to close this loan in record time,” said MST CEO/General Manager Carl Sedoryk.

MST broke ground on the facility in July on the King City, Calif., facility and it is expected to be completed in the fall of 2021. MST does not have storage, parking or operation and maintenance facilities in southern Monterey County. The South County Operations and Maintenance Facility will provide a base for MST’s south county services, as well as reduce deadhead mileage, fuel usage, maintenance and labor costs and risk of mechanical issues.

Additionally, the $13.5-million construction project is expected to bring approximately 190 local jobs to the area through direct and indirect activities.

The TIFIA RPI loan features a no-fee, 35-year fixed interest rate equal to one half of the U.S. Treasury rate, or 0.78 percent. In addition to the TIFIA RPI loan, the project is being financed through a mix of federal, state and local funding.

“Accessible and affordable public transportation is vital for our way of life on the Central Coast. That’s why it’s important that our transportation agencies have access to capital for the resources necessary to adequately and safely operate in our many cities,” said U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-D-20). “This TIFIA loan will help MST with its operations throughout the Salinas Valley and further allow it to fulfill its goal of providing quality transportation services to everybody in every one of our communities.”

This is the second loan to be approved under USDOT’s RPI initiative. In September, the San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority secured a $13.08-million loan for a new operations and maintenance facility.

USDOT began the RPI initiative to “assist rural communities in overcoming financial barriers that slow infrastructure investment in rural America.”

USDOT says the Build America Bureau received a Letter of Interest from MST in May 2020 and the loan closed five months later making it the fastest loan the bureau has ever closed.

“This $8.45 million federal loan reflects this administration’s attention to long-neglected and overlooked rural infrastructure; the monies will improve the transportation system in Monterey County and provide residents with better access to jobs, healthcare and other services,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.