Merseytravel is the passenger transport executive responsible for the coordination of public transport in the Liverpool City Region, North West England. Merseytravel was established on 1 December 1969 as the Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive (MPTE). From 1 April 2014 Merseytravel expanded its area of operation from the metropolitan county of Merseyside to also include the Borough of Halton.
The Merseyside Passenger Transport Authority was first established as a result of the Transport Act 1968, and included communities such as the urban districts of Formby, Lancashire and Neston, Cheshire. The latter was removed from Merseyside Passenger Transport jurisdiction in 1974 when the transport organisation's boundaries were made co-extensive with the new metropolitan county of Merseyside which was formally created by the Local Government Act 1972. At this time a committee of councillors of Merseyside County Council became the transport authority.
When the metropolitan county councils were abolished by the Local Government Act 1985, new structures had to be created. A new joint board - again called The Merseyside Passenger Transport Authority - was created. It was later renamed the Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority and comprised 18 councillors assembled from Merseyside's five districts: Liverpool, Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral.
On 1 April 2014, the Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority was abolished and reformed as the Merseytravel Committee of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. The transport authority area is extended to include the whole of the Liverpool City Region, which comprises Merseyside and the Borough of Halton.
As a result of the privatisation of British Rail, the Northern Line and Wirral Line of the local Merseyrail rail network were brought together as the Mersey Rail Electrics passenger franchise, that was privatised on 19 January 1997. Under the original privatisation legislation of 1993, PTEs were co-signatories of franchise agreements covering their areas. The first train operating company (TOC) awarded the franchise contract was MTL, originally the operating arm of the PTE, but privatised itself in 1985. It traded under the Merseyrail Electrics brand, but after MTL was sold to Arriva, the company was rebranded Arriva Trains Merseyside from 27 April 2001.