RTA Next Plan Development

A new draft 20-year regional transportation plan is under development by a citizens’ advisory committee (CAC) of the Regional Transportation Authority. Since the current voter-approved plan and a half cent sales (excise) tax expire in June 2026, the RTA would like to present a new plan for voter consideration before then.

Plan Development Process

The process to develop a draft plan includes the following steps:

  1. Educating the CAC about the history of the RTA and the statutory and policy requirements for developing a new plan
  2. Developing a named roadway (multimodal) corridor project list for the Roadway element
  3. Reviewing the Transit, Safety, Environmental and Economic Vitality Elements, and subelements to allocate funds and make further recommendations on elements/subelements.
  4. Preparing a draft plan for RTA Board review by Dec. 6, 2023
  5. (RTA Board) Approving the draft plan for public review or making revisions, if needed
  6. Presenting the draft plan to the public for feedback
  7. Revising plan based on public input (as directed by the RTA Board)
  8. Finalizing the draft plan for voter consideration

Plan Development Status

On Jan. 23, 2023, the CAC recommended a roadway (multimodal) corridor project list for RTA Board review. The project list represents about half of the anticipated $2.34 billion draft plan.

The CAC is in the process of reviewing the other categorical elements, with input from a Transit Element Subcommittee to give guidance on possible transit investments for the next plan. Other technical information and subelement needs have been presented to the CAC for ongoing consideration.

After the CAC recommends a draft plan to the RTA Board and the board approves the initial draft, the RTA will conduct public outreach across the region to seek feedback on the draft plan.

Roles in Plan Development

RTA Citizens Advisory Committee – directed by RTA Board to draft a 20-year regional transportation plan with a balanced budget by Dec. 3, 2023. The CAC does not have a policy role and may not recommend a plan that is not consistent with the RTA’s governing laws and policies.

RTA Technical Management Committee – provide technical support to the CAC through an iterative process and technical recommendations to the CAC. Also, TMC members submitted an original list of project proposals from each RTA member jurisdiction for CAC consideration for plan development.

RTA Board – provides overall policy and budget direction to committees for plan development, approves the initial draft plan for initial public review and the final draft plan for consideration by Pima County voters within the RTA taxing district.

Staff – Staff ensure that statutory, policy, budget and administrative requirements are being met and support the RTA Board and committees on preparing and conducting all meetings. Staff are professionals with expertise in transportation planning, engineering, finance, and public engagement that are employed by the Pima Association of Governments, the region’s metropolitan planning organization, which manages the RTA.

Public Involvement

  • RTA Board and committee meetings are open to the public, and notices are posted online a minimum of 24 hours in advance of the meetings
  • The public may submit call to the audience comments as directed in the meeting notice at the top of each posted agenda
  • The public may share feedback on regional transportation priorities at any time at info@RTAmobilty.com
  • Once a draft plan is available for public feedback, comments may be submitted through online comment forms and other RTA-sponsored venues

RTA Next Public Outreach

The RTA uses a variety of outreach methods to seek feedback from the public. Once a draft plan is ready for review, a variety of materials will be available to help answer questions and to share the transportation and economic benefits of the content of the draft plan.

Here are a few examples of outreach methods that may be used:

  • Public notices/brochures
  • Public meetings - Open Houses/Town Halls (virtual or in-person)
  • Community group presentations (Q&A)
  • Stakeholder group meetings (Q&A)
  • Surveys (Pop up or other survey methods)

For questions about RTA Next plan development or to submit requests for a speaker, please send an email with your contact information to info@RTAmobility.com.

With or Without RTA Next

The 2006-voter approved RTA plan invested more than $1.4 billion in transportation improvements across the region to date, including new or enhanced transit services for Sun Tran, Sun Van, Sun Express, Sun Shuttle and Sun Shuttle Dial-a-Ride.

With RTA Next, transit services will be funded based on how new RTA funds from a sales tax extension are allocated in the transit element of the draft plan to continue new or enhanced transit services.

Without RTA Next, expanded evening and weekend and other transit services funded by the current RTA plan could cease unless another funding source is identified. Also, without additional sales tax revenues from RTA Next, the region will lack the ability to secure a higher level of new state or federal funds or grants that require a local match to benefit all communities across Pima County that are within the RTA’s regional taxing district.

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