Merseytravel co-ordinates public transport and acts in partnership with private bus and rail operators to provide public transport in Merseyside.

Overall budget and policy responsibility rests with 18 Councillors from Merseyside's 5 Districts who serve on the Authority.

The Passenger Transport Authority and Passenger Transport Executive were both established by the 1968 Transport Act. The main remit under the Act is for the Authority to "formulate.. general policies with respect to public passenger transport" and the Executive "carrying out such policies". The 1968 Act gave the Authority/Executive an area that covered Merseyside except Southport and St Helens.

The Merseyside Passenger Transport Area (Adoption of Enactments and Instruments) Order 1973 made provision for the existing Executive to become the Passenger Transport Executive for the County of Merseyside. The Authority was dissolved with the vesting of property, rights and liabilities being transferred to Merseyside County Council. At the same time the designated area became the whole of the County of Merseyside. These changes became operative from 1 April 1974.

The Local Government Act 1985 established a new Passenger Transport Authority for Merseyside on the abolition of Merseyside County Council. The transport Act 1985 amended the functions to take into account bus deregulation and the privatisation of bus operations. The designated area remained the County of Merseyside.

Merseytravel will:
- work in partnership with local people and involve them in transport issues that affect their lives
- recognise that everybody who uses public transport in Merseyside should have a say in its future development
- provide information concerning Merseytravel
- work with members of the local community to help improve public transport in your area
- encourage community transport initiatives and events wherever it is possible
- work with people through our Young People's Education initiative

Some benefits of Merseytravel are:
As a result, Merseysiders benefit from a range of facilities including:
- free travel for 250,000 elderly and disabled members of the community
- a family of tickets to suit all travel needs
- modern stations across Merseyside
- the award winning Mersey Ferries, a premier Merseyside tourist attraction
- crossriver links 365 days a year provided by the Mersey Tunnels
- plans for an ambitious Rapid Transit network for the 21st century
- funding and standard setting for the Merseyrail network
- a new generation of Merseyrail stations across the region
- a network of Travel Centres across Merseyside
- maintenance of over 6,000 bus stops and shelters on Merseyside
- the only comprehensive public transport information line open 7am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm on Saturdays and Sundays
- environmental initiatives including electric and gas powered vehicles
- campaigns and educational projects focusing on social and economic aspects relating to public transport and the community