The Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) is a long-range blueprint that prioritizes spending on transportation projects in the 20-county Atlanta region for the next two decades.
The RTP is developed by the Atlanta Regional Commission, which is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for metro Atlanta, along with the region’s transportation agencies and local governments.
The RTP is updated every four years and is the transportation element of the Atlanta Region’s Plan, the region’s comprehensive, long-range plan. Transportation projects seeking federal funding must be included in the RTP, along with any projects that might impact air quality.
The current RTP invests $85 million through 2040 to maintain and improve roads, highways and transit in metro Atlanta. Nearly two-thirds of the funding will be used to maintain and modernize the region’s existing network of roads, bridges and transit systems, while $28 billion is programmed for road and transit expansion projects.
All RTP documents including the Conformity Determination Report and Model Documentation can be found on the Atlanta Region’s Plan website.
Documents last updated May 2017.
- Widen major thoroughfares and improve highway interchanges
The Atlanta Region’s Plan includes $5.8 billion to widen the region’s network of major arterial roads, the backbone of the region’s transportation system. In all, 178 major roads will be widened, from Ga. 20 in Cherokee County to Ga. 155 in Henry County, adding a total of 963 lane-miles of capacity.
- Build a network of managed toll lanes that offer a way around the gridlock
Imagine hopping on a freeway during rush hour and traveling at least 45 miles per hour. That’s the promise of managed toll lanes – a free-flowing ride for people willing to pay a toll, carpool or ride a bus.
- Expand transit service to better connect our region’s major employment centers and improve mobility
Any attempt to improve mobility in the Atlanta region must include additional transit options. The Atlanta Region’s Plan commits $12 billion for potential transit expansion projects, including MARTA projects in Clayton County, Ga. 400, I-20 East and the Clifton Corridor, one of the region’s largest employment centers. Most of these projects won’t be built for several decades or more unless additional local funding is identified.
- Help local governments create more walk- and bike-friendly communities, with improved access to jobs and transit
The plan will expand the region’s network of bicycle and pedestrian trails and foster the development of communities that offer increased walking and biking options, as well as improved access to transit, jobs and services. About $314 million is allocated to fund transportation projects, such as sidewalks and bike lanes, through ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative.
The cost to implement the transportation vision defined by this plan is estimated to range between $115 billion and $120 billion through the year 2040. And there is a funding shortfall of about $30 billion to implement that full vision.
Transportation Improvement Plan
The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is the short-term portion of the RTP, covering a six-year period. The TIP allocates federal funds for the region’s highest-priority transportation projects. Projects in the TIP must be fully funded.
Congestion Management Process
The RTP serves as the Atlanta region’s “congestion management process” for federal planning purposes. A congestion management process is the federal terminology for planners identifying congested roadways and bottlenecks and developing strategies for relief. Because parts of the Atlanta region are in non-attainment for air quality. Any project that receives federal funding must be vetted through the congestion management process and must meet federal approval.