Moody's Investors Service last week assigned a Baa1 rating to Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority gross revenue transit refunding bonds, which are scheduled for negotiated sale on Nov. 16.

The authority is one of the largest mass transit systems in the country.

Securing the offering is a pledge of gross operating revenues, including some operating and debt service subsidies from the jurisdictions served by the transit system.

Moody's said the rating was based in part on the authority's "premier role within the metro area" and the system's favorable financial and managerial performance.

In the past, the authority's long-term debt was federally guaranteed, with two-thirds of the debt service paid by the federal government and one-third by the authority from debt service subsidies.

The Nov. 16 issue, which will refund the authority's one-third share for debt service savings, is not federally guaranteed.

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