Transit district

A transit district or transit authority is a special-purpose district organized as either a corporation chartered by statute, or a government agency, created for the purpose of providing public transportation within a specific region.

In the United States, this is usually within one state, but in rare circumstances may cover two or more states. The term used depends on which part of the country the agency is created in. Typically, western states will create a "transit district" and eastern states create a "transit authority" but the type of agency is generally the same.

A transit district is created to give it the power of the government in dealing with solving problems related to transit issues. This includes the powers of eminent domain to obtain space for rights-of-way (e.g. for railways or busways), the ability to impose excise, income, property, and/or sales taxes to fund subsidies of operating costs of local transportation, and the ability to operate independently of the cities and counties that the transit district operates within. A transit district may also have its own transit police force, although in some areas the local police provide a special bureau for this purpose.

A transit district may operate bus, rail or other types of transport including ferry service, or may operate other facilities. In some cases, the transit district may be part of a larger organization such as a state Department of Transportation.



In Canada, transit (or transport or transportation) is mostly of the domain of local government, with some coordination by the provinces. Most Canadian cities have a transit authority.


Although Paris' STIF is only supervising transports in Île de France, RATP Group (Paris' main transport operator) also operates subsidiaries across the world.


As part of the big deregulation package passed by the Bundestag in 1993, which mainly merged the two state railways of West and East Germany into one single company governed by private law instead of public law, regional transport and transit had been assigned to the Bundesländer (federal states), who had each to pass their own individual law regulating public transit, whereby "regional" was defined as journeys "typically not over distances more than 50 km, and not taking longer than one hour".

United Kingdom

United States

Some of the more famous transit districts in the U.S. include:

See also


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