The Atlanta Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) details the investments through 2050 needed to ensure metro Atlanta’s future success and improve quality of life.

A $168B Blueprint for the Atlanta Region’s Future

Here are 12 things you need to know about the plan, which was adopted by the ARC Board in February 2024.

1: Transforming the Region through Infrastructure Investments

The long-range plan invests $168B through 2050 to improve roads and highways, enhance transit options, expand the region’s network of bike-ped trails, and create vibrant, walkable communities.

The Metropolitan Transportation Plan invests $168B through 2050 to improve roads and highways, enhance transit options, expand the region’s network of bike-ped trails, and create vibrant, walkable communities.

About 63% of the total investment is needed to maintain and operate the existing transportation network.

Another 21% will go toward major system expansion projects, while 11% is for the state and local agency operations and 6% for demand management, which encourages alternative commuting options.


Infographic: Total Investment through 2050: $168.3 Billion.

2: Keeping Up with Population and Employment Growth

The MTP is designed to keep up with the region’s continued strong growth.

According to ARC’s latest long-range forecasts, the 21-county Atlanta region will have a population of 7.9 million by 2050.

That’s an increase of 1.8 million over the 2020 U.S. Census baseline.

The growth will be driven by the region’s economy.

ARC forecasts metro Atlanta will add 856,000 million jobs by 2050, for a total of 4.6 million. The professional services sector will add the most jobs, while the fastest-growing sectors include arts & entertainment and manufacturing.

3: Listening to and Learning from the Public

The MTP was informed by robust public input that included over 70,000 stakeholder engagement touchpoints, including public opinion surveys and in-person events.

Many residents said they were concerned about the future, focusing on issues like climate change, housing affordability, and the impact of technology.

4: Working with Partner Agencies

The MTP was developed with robust input from a broad range of stakeholders, including state and local governments and transportation agencies.

This includes Comprehensive Transportation Plans that are developed by each county in the Atlanta region every five to seven years. ARC provides federal funding for these plans, which serve as foundational building blocks for regional transportation planning.

5: Maintaining and Operating the Existing Transportation Network

About four dollars out of every five that the region invests in its transportation network goes to maintaining and operating our current transportation systems and maximizing their efficiency.

This level of spending is necessary to ensure our region’s existing roads, transit, and bike-ped infrastructure are kept operable and in good condition.

6: Improving Major Thoroughfares and Interchanges

Metro Atlanta’s interstates play a key role in moving people, goods, and emergency vehicles within the region and across the Southeast. Half of all vehicle miles traveled in the metro area takes place on these highways.

The MTP provides about $13.8 billion for key interchange and highway improvements as part of Georgia DOT’s Major Mobility Improvement Program

This includes an expansion of the region’s express lanes network to over 140 more miles of the interstate highway system. These lanes can be used by transit vehicles and offer alternatives for people willing to carpool, ride a bus, or pay a toll.

Major projects scheduled in the next 10 years include

  • Managed express lanes on the top-end Perimeter
  • Interchange reconstruction – I-285 West at I-20 in Fulton County
  • Interchange reconstruction – I-285 East at I-20 in DeKalb County
  • New interchange at I-85 North and McGinnis Ferry Road in Gwinnett County

The plan also invests $8.1 billion to add about 600 lane-miles of capacity to the region’s arterial network by 2050

Projects scheduled in the next decade include:

  • Tara Boulevard widening from Tara Road to SR 54 in Clayton County
  • Panola Road widening from US 278 to Snapfinger Woods Drive in DeKalb County
  • South Barrett Parkway reliever from Barrett Lakes Blvd. to SR 5 connector in Cobb County

7: Constructing and Sustaining Transit Services

The plan programs $10 billion for transit expansion, a critical investment that is needed as the Atlanta region continues to grow and become denser.

MARTA projects scheduled to begin in the next decade include:

  • Campbellton Road bus rapid transit
  • Clayton Southlake bus rapid transit
  • Atlanta Streetcar East Extension to Atlanta BeltLine/Ponce City Market.
  • Buford Highway Arterial Rapid Transit
  • Candler Road Arterial Rapid Transit

8: Expanding Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Network

Developing a more walkable and bikeable region is key to achieving the region’s goal of creating healthy, safe, and livable communities.

The MTP invests $3.9 billion to construct bike-ped projects across the region through 2050 to enhance livability, bolster safety, alleviate traffic congestion, and improve air quality.

Projects scheduled in the next four years include:

  • Southwest and northeastern portions of the Atlanta BeltLine
  • PATH 400 multi-use trail along Ga. 400 in North Fulton County
  • Chattahoochee River Greenway Trail in Douglas County
  • Rockdale River Trail extension in Rockdale County
  • Separated bike-ped lanes on the 10th bridge over the Downtown Connector in the City of Atlanta

9: Enhancing Safety for Everyone

Roughly 600 people die and more than 3,000 are seriously injured in traffic crashes in the ARC region every year. This trend is not going in the right direction, and it is not going to change course on its own.

To change the trend line, ARC has applied a proactive approach to both identify the most dangerous locations and also considers risk factors of roadways that are likely to have severe crashes.

Risk factors may include roadway design features, community context and traffic control patterns.

10: Building a 21st Century Transportation System

Our transportation network is in the process of a fundamental transformation, away form the internal combustion engine and toward electrification.

It’s the biggest change since the horse and buggy gave way to automobiles more than 100 years ago.

ARC is working with our regional partners to plan for an electrified transportation future.

This includes development of a Regional Transportation Electrification Plan to make it easier for area residents to buy and use EVs and position the area’s workforce to build and support that infrastructure. The plan is expected to be completed in 2024.

11: Connecting the South and Moving Freight Around the World

The Atlanta region is a global leader in freight, warehousing, and logistics, and ensuring goods flow through the region is critical.

Federal forecasts expect the region’s freight movements to increase nearly 70% by 2050.

Federal forecasts expect the region’s freight movements to increase nearly 70% by 2050. ARC partners with state and local governments to both move freight through the region and ease effects on local communities.

In 2023, ARC began working on a major update to the Atlanta Regional Freight Mobility Plan to better understand the area’s freight needs. This plan will be completed in late 2024.

12: Continuing the Journey to Cleaner Air

Metro Atlanta continues to make progress on improving air quality.

In 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the last remaining metro area counties had met all federal standards for ground level ozone.

The MTP and TIP keep the region’s emissions below the limits set by the EPA by investing significant resources into cleaner technologies, like electric vehicles, and sustainable mobility options such as transit, bicycling and walking.

What's Next?

The MTP is more than a static document updated every four years.

While it does lay out a clearly defined set of policies, projects, and programs which are intended to help our region achieve its full potential, it does so from the perspective of a single point in time.

The true purpose of this plan is not to articulate every action to be undertaken in the future, but rather to define a general vision and set us on a reasonable path forward.

The MTP is intended to be adaptable and responsive to change. What seems practical, cost-effective and desirable today may not be so in the future, so course corrections will need to be made regularly.

New strategies will be tried, while those which become obsolete will be retired. The plan will undoubtedly evolve considerably in coming years, which is the way the process should and must work.

While the path may have unexpected obstacles, the vision of creating One Great Region should remain constant.