Citizens’ committee evaluating regional transportation needs and priorities

Developing a regional transportation plan takes time and will include public input. The Regional Transportation Authority established a citizens’ advisory committee in 2018 and is in the early stages of drafting a new 20-year plan.

This originally appeared as an op-ed in the November 7 edition of the Arizona Daily Star.

The committee is at an important juncture where it will consider which projects should be included in the next RTA plan. Projects will be selected from proposals submitted by RTA member jurisdictions in the greater Tucson region, and the committee will determine if any other priority projects should be considered.

Committee members will look at the projects submitted from a regional perspective to ensure that the first draft list will be regionally balanced and will meet plan development guidelines and goals set by the committee and based on public input received to date.

The goal of the committee is to prepare a plan that will be publicly supported in a future election. The citizens’ advisory committee meetings are open to the public to ensure a transparent process. We invite your input now on your transportation priorities, and when we have our first draft prepared, we will seek your feedback and revise the plan as needed.

The citizens’ advisory committee serves as the cornerstone of a collaborative and citizen-driven effort. We will consider projects that provide safety, multimodal choices and reliability, as well as projects that ensure a geographic balance to address the needs of diverse populations in all communities.

To meet the projects’ technical requirements, we have been teamed up with a public and private sector technical committee to provide technical support to the citizens’ committee and to review project specifications to ensure quality delivery.

The public has weighed in on plan goals the citizens’ committee established last year. More than 3,100 people provided feedback late in 2019. In addition, RTA staff has been educating the community about the plan development process since late 2016 and has reached more than 4,200 people to invite them to participate along the way.

Since the RTA was established, the RTA’s governance and culture have earned the trust of the public in the region. The RTA is recognized as a model of success by using a regionally balanced, citizen-driven approach in developing its current 20-year plan. The RTA has continued the collaborative culture with its members to deliver more than 870 projects to date.

The RTA’s investment of more than $1.2 billion has leveraged additional local, state and federal dollars to support the local economy. The next RTA plan will be another major investment across the region, positively impacting the lives of many.

The public has the opportunity to share their comments on regional transportation priorities or to sign up to receive updates on plan development at This is the time for you to weigh in. When the draft plan is ready, we’ll bring it to you for feedback and refinement. All eligible voters in Pima County will ultimately have a say in the future of transportation and the region’s economic vitality.

Tom McGovern is the chair of the Regional Transportation Authority’s Citizens Advisory Committee. The RTA manages a 20-year regional transportation plan and half-cent tax approved by voters in 2006. More information is at