Founded in 1998, the Reservation Transportation Authority (RTA) is a Southern California regional inter-tribal organization consisting of 14 federally-recognized Native American tribal governments. The RTA was developed in order to more effectively represent the transportation interests of its Native American Indian tribal members when working with the regional agencies, the State, and the federal government. By bringing together the interests of many tribes and enabling them to pool resources, address common transportation needs, and achieve common goals, the RTA has given its tribal government members a greater, stronger voice for addressing their transportation needs.
The RTA is a joint, subordinate branch of its tribal government members and is recognized by the federal government as the equivalent of a tribal government agency. The RTA is tribally chartered by its sovereign tribal governments to operate as an independent non-profit agency. The RTA serves as a focal point for sharing information and a mechanism for improved communication between the tribes, regional planning agencies, and Caltrans.
Functions of the RTA:
- Secures road construction funding to finance the construction and rehabilitation of tribal roads on our tribal government members’ reservations;
- Constructs and rehabilitates tribal roads on our tribal government members’ reservations;
- Secures grant funding to support the expansion of transit services to tribal lands;
- Develops programs to address the transportation needs of disabled, handicapped, elderly, and other transportation-disadvantaged tribal members;
- Develops programs that encourage the use of more environmentally-friendly commuter modes;
- Performs a strong transportation policy and advocacy role for our member tribal governments; and
- Serves as a resource for transportation education, planning, and program administration for our tribal government members.
Ultimately, the RTA aims to build awareness in and around our tribal communities, using our resources to build not just roads, but paths to the future.