Regional Transit Authority (RTA)


The Regional Transit Authority was created by state law in December 2012 to coordinate, oversee and improve transit for Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties, including Detroit.

  • The RTA coordinates and oversees existing transit providers throughout the region, including DDOT, SMART, the People Mover, and AAATA.  It does NOT replace or take over existing agencies (in the short or mid-term).
  • The RTA is directed to plan, fund, and operate a Rapid Transit service along Woodward, Gratiot, and other major corridors, once funds are raised.
  • The RTA is overseen by a Board of Directors appointed by the County Executives and Detroit’s Mayor.  That board selects the CEO or General Manager to run daily operations and hire other staff.
  • The RTA is supported and advised by a Citizens Advisory Committee and a Providers Advisory Committee.
  • The RTA can propose to the voters new funding for regional transit
  • The RTA includes all of Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties, including Detroit. Other counties can join in.  There is no provision for any city or county to leave.

Learn more about the RTA’s creation. (PDF)

The Regional Transit Master Plan – The Regional Transit Authority developed a master plan that focuses on building a regional transit system to better connect Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, and Macomb counties. This plan would provide a quick and seamless transit network across the region, enabling more people to access jobs and other services. The plan would also implement the regions first bus rapid transit lines along Woodward, Gratiot, and Michigan Ave, along with a Detroit to Ann Arbor rail line, in order to connect more people to more places in a timely manner.

The RTA Board adopted the Regional Transit Plan in 2016 with support from all four counties and the City of Detroit. Voters narrowly defeated a 1.2 mil property tax measure in Nov 2016 that would have enabled these and other transit improvements.

RTA listened to concerns and suggestions and developed an updated plan – the Connect Southeast Michigan plan – in 2018, although it was not formally adopted by the RTA Board of Directors.

The RTA continues to incorporate feedback about how regional transit can better serve southeast Michigan and is likely to purpose an updated plan in future election cycles. Stay tuned!