NET RMA History

The North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority (NET RMA) was established on October 28, 2004 with a unanimous vote from the Texas Transportation Commission (TTC). The NET RMA’s goal is to enhance mobility and create economic opportunity in the North East Texas Region. To achieve this goal, the NET RMA is engaged in continually educating the public on the benefits of toll roads for advancing infrastructure projects faster than traditionally funded projects. The NET RMA is challenged with the statewide issue of finding creative funding resources to finance much needed transportation projects. Pooling the resources of each member county, local Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), and various cities, the NET RMA hopes to make North East Texas an even better place in which to live, work, and raise our families.

The NET RMA was founded by Smith and Gregg Counties. In June, 2006, Cherokee, Rusk, Harrison, and Upshur Counties joined the NET RMA. In July of 2007, the TTC approved the addition of six new counties—Bowie, Cass, Panola, Titus, Van Zandt and Wood. In November 2013, Cass County asked to withdraw from the NET RMA and almost simultaneously Kaufman County joined. In August 2019 Camp and Cass Counties were authorized by TxDOT to join the NET RMA – bringing together the current fourteen-county partnership. The NET RMA, the 5th RMA in Texas, is the only RMA in the state that has grown to include counties outside its original founding sponsors.

The NET RMA Board’s original chairman, Jeff Austin III, and other board members representing the NET RMA member counties, embarked on a vision started over 35 years ago by individuals who saw a need to plan for future growth in Smith County with the construction of Toll 49 in Tyler. In April, 2006, the NET RMA agreed to assist the TxDOT Tyler District with the design and construction of several key segments of Toll 49. As the efforts among the NET RMA member counties continues to progress, their vision will focus on the design and construction of other transportation projects in North East Texas, such as:

1. Completion of Toll 49 on the east side of Tyler.

2. Design and construction of an outer loop in Longview.

3. Widening and extending SH 42 and FM 2275 (George Richey Road) in Gregg County.

4. Connecting the Tyler and Longview Loops and extending them to the east to connect with I-69 (called the East Texas Hourglass Project).

5. Building other loops and bypasses to relieve highway congestion along US 69 in Jacksonville and Wells, US 79/US 259 in Henderson, and possibly US 59 in Texarkana.

Chairman Austin resigned as the Chair of the NET RMA upon his appointment to the TTC October 20, 2011. Linda Thomas was appointed by Governor Rick Perry as the new Chair on December 6, 2011, and was sworn in on January 18, 2012. She resigned her position in August 2019 to focus more on her family. Gary Halbrooks was then appointed by Governor Greg Abbott as the new NET RMA Chairman in October 2021.

While roadway enhancement projects are the current focus of the NET RMA, other transportation projects such as a highway/freight rail intermodal hub, downtown parking garages, commuter rail links between North East Texas and the Dallas “DART” high speed rail system, freight rail links to the Port of Houston and the Port of Shreveport/Bossier, are envisioned by the NET RMA.

Additional information regarding the formation and powers of an RMA may be found at:

TxDOT RMA Manual – November 2014

A map of RMA’s in Texas can be found at:

RMA Districts