The Regional Transportation Authority was established in 2004 by the Arizona Legislature as a political subdivision and independent taxing district.
As a political subdivision, the RTA is a public body established to develop a regional transportation plan for voter approval. The current multimodal RTA plan was approved by Pima County voters in May 2006 and is in effect through June 2026. The plan includes roadway corridor, safety, transit, environmental and economic vitality improvements. More than 870 projects have been implemented to date.
Voters in Pima County also approved an RTA tax in 2006 to help fund those projects. The RTA taxing district is within the boundary of Pima County, and the Arizona Department of Revenue collects a countywide half-cent excise (sales) tax on behalf of the RTA. The Department of Revenue places monthly tax revenues in an account from which the RTA reimburses RTA members for project implementation costs.
Members of the RTA include Pima County, the cities of South Tucson and Tucson, the towns of Marana, Oro Valley and Sahuarita, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, the Tohono O’odham Nation and the Arizona Department of Transportation.
The RTA Board is made up of the chief elected official, or designee, from each of the RTA members including the Governor-appointed Pima County representative who serves on the Arizona State Transportation Board.