The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan was created by the Michigan legislature in 2012 to plan for and coordinate public transportation in the region of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties, plus the city of Detroit, and to deliver rapid transit in a region where none exists.

Satellite map of regional transit corridor running from Ann Arbor to Detroit, on display at a May 18, 2015 public open house hosted by the RTA at the EMU Student Center.

The RTA is the entity through which transit providers – including the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority – must apply for state and federal funds, and through which those funds are allocated to providers. The other transit agencies in the RTA region are the Detroit Dept. of Transportation (DDOT), SMART, and the Detroit People Mover. The RTA is also responsible for developing a Regional Master Transit Plan to guide present and future service and is empowered to put funding questions on the ballot for public vote.

The RTA's CEO is Michael Ford, formerly the CEO of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority.

Washtenaw County’s two representatives on the RTA board are Liz Gerber, a University of Michigan professor of public policy, and former state legislator Alma Wheeler Smith, the mother of Washtenaw County commissioner Conan Smith.

RTA's Wikipedia page:

In the news

Metro Detroit residents sound off on public transit – Detroit News, May 20, 2015

Transit chief: Regional transportation 'can be done' – Detroit Free Press, May 12, 2015

Planning begins on transit system connecting Detroit to Ann Arbor, Pontiac, Mount Clemens – Michigan Radio, May 12, 2015

Detroit to Ann Arbor route one of three on regional transit radar – MLive, May 12, 2015

Party today to kick off regional transit efforts – Detroit Free Press, May 12, 2015

RTA to unveil regional mass transit planning effort on Tuesday – Crain's Detroit Business, May 8, 2015

Regional Transit Authority Considering a Universal Fare Card for Detroit and Ann Arbor Transit – WDET, April 28, 2015

Detroit-area transit agencies consider single fare card – Detroit Free Press, April 28, 2015

5 things to know about Detroit transit – Detroit Free Press, April 27, 2015

Will metro Detroit suburbs buy into regional transit? – Model D, April 7, 2015

Transit authority to pursue express bus service to Detroit Metro Airport – MLive, April 7, 2015

Regional Transit Authority CEO listens to residents’ concerns – C&G Newspapers, April 7, 2015

Community groups to schedule meetings with Regional Transit Authority CEO Michael Ford – MetroMode, Feb. 19, 2015

Consultant to help RTA sell ’16 ballot issue – Detroit News, Jan. 29, 2015

What's going on with the RTA? Five tough questions with CEO Michael Ford – MetroMode, Dec. 18, 2014

Transit authority launches new home on the Web – Detroit Free Press, Dec. 18, 2014

Detroit area's transit head must sell voters on funding – Detroit Free Press, Nov. 19, 2014

Michael Ford leaving AAATA to become CEO of Metro Detroit's Regional Transit Authority – MLive, Aug. 20, 2014

Ann Arbor transit CEO Michael Ford picked to lead RTA – Crain's Detroit Business, May 22, 2014