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Transportation Lending Services' financing was what really got our company off the ground. There were no other low-cost financing alternatives.
Frank Harnishfeger
Buckeye Charter Services
Lima, Ohio

The Transportation Lending Services Corporation strives to simplify the process of transportation finance while using some of the more innovative financing mechanisms available to public and community transportation, mechanisms that are covered in both the TCRP and Federal Transit Administration resources referenced earlier in this section.

There are basic elements to any finance package, including any offered by Transportation Lending Services:

  1. A Source of Capital: The Transportation Lending Services Corporation has several sources of low-interest capital available for transit financing. Because it has both private and government funds, and the ability to create innovative partnerships, or provide local share or matching funds for grantees, the Corporation is in a positive position to assist in keeping costs down for any type of transportation project or need -- large or small. Additionally, Transportation Lending Services can access funds from private investors, from several government agencies, from New Markets Tax Credits and from other nonprofit intermediaries.
  2. A Financing Mechanism: These are the structure -- or lending tool -- used to complete a loan transaction. To accomplish a deal, Transportation Lending Services uses variations on five general types of financing mechanisms:
    • Long-Term Direct Loan: Usually for larger projects or facility/land purchases. Terms can vary but 15- to 20-year amortizations are common.
    • Short-Term Direct Loan: Generally to assist with operating expenses, vehicle purchases, insurance premiums and other similar needs.
    • Lease Purchase/Buyback Options: Transportation Lending Services can participate in various leasing approaches to the acquisition or long-term use of capital assets -- particularly vehicles and facilities.
    • Equity and Partnership Financing: Used mainly for multi-funded projects or joint development of facilities. In this scenario, an applicant "buys" into a project as a percentage of equity to help secure additional financing.
    • Credit Enhancement Options: Transportation Lending Services cannot provide lines of credit, but we can accept credit enhancements, such as bank letters of credit or government guarantees to assist in securing a loan or putting together a financing package.
    • All of the above-mentioned mechanisms can be used as instruments to obtain local share or grant matches.
  3. Repayment Stream and Loan Collateral: Transportation Lending Services develops a repayment schedule and collateral needs that are based on the type of each individual project, the applicant's financial and business profi le and the financing mechanism used on the project. For example, a direct loan for a transit facility would be for a fixed term with a fixed monthly payment. Generally, much like buying a house, the loan security would be a mortgage on the facility. However, if it were a multi-funded loan, or a participation loan, separate repayment documents would be drawn up for each funding participant and collateral could be shared or split to secure each party.


Preliminary Loan Application (Word Document)(31 KB)


Program Director
Transportation Lending Services
1341 G. Street, NW, 10th floor
Washington, D. C., 20005
Phone: 202-415-9682
Toll-Free: 800-891-0590, ext. 710
Fax: 202-737-9197

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