Atlanta Regional Commission Board approves updated regional transportation plan

Feb. 27, 2020
The nearly $173 billion plan will improve mobility in metro Atlanta through 2050 and includes $11 billion for transit expansion.

An updated regional transportation plan aimed at improving mobility in metro Atlanta through 2050 to accommodate population growth and combat congestion was approved by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) Board Feb. 26.

ARC says the $172.6-billion Atlanta Region’s Plan is a blueprint through 2050 that details the investments, programs and services needed to ensure metro Atlanta’s future success by providing world-class infrastructure, fostering healthy, livable communities and developing a competitive economy.

“The Atlanta Region’s Plan offers a balanced, strategic approach to keep our region moving forward, even as our population continues to grow,” said Doug Hooker, executive director of ARC. “This plan will help metro Atlanta remain competitive, with a high quality of life, in the decades to come.”

ARC took a collaborative approach to the development of the updated transportation plan with input from the public, local governments and transportation agencies.

ARC forecasts the 20-county Atlanta region will add 2.9 million people by 2050 and the Atlanta Region’s Plan is designed to accommodate the expected growth and combat increased congestion tied to population growth. The plan’s potential impact also expands into improved environmental effects with a decrease in tailpipe emissions by more than 21,000 tons per year by 2050 and transit use is expected to more than double from the more than 510,000 current riders to more than 1.1 million.

The Atlanta Region’s Plan includes projects and programs designed to improve roads and highways, enhance transit options, expand the region’s network of multi-use trails and encourage alternative commuting options such as carpooling and teleworking.

The plan includes close to $102 billion for maintenance and safety projects ranging from the resurfacing of roads to replacing aging transit fleets and new “smart” technology.

The plan directs $11 billion for transit expansion, including several during the next decade, such as:

  • High capacity transit in Clayton County, phase 1 of which will connect Jonesboro to the East Point MARTA station.
  • Expansion of the city of Atlanta’s streetcar network from Jackson St. to Ponce de Leon Ave., which includes a portion of the Atlanta BeltLine, as well as a section on North Avenue that will be bus rapid transit.
  • Bus rapid transit lines in Clayton Co. to replace two conventional Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) bus routes.
  • A bus rapid transit line to connect the growing Georgia State University Stadium area in Summerhill to the MARTA rail network to the north and the Atlanta BeltLine to the south.
  • Engineering and other work will take place to prepare for construction of transit on other segments of the Atlanta BeltLine.
  • Other key projects are programmed for later years in the plan, including a bus rapid transit line in Gwinnett County connecting the Doraville MARTA station and Sugarloaf Mills, and a bus rapid transit line in Cobb County, connecting Kennesaw State University and the Arts Center MARTA station.

About $10 billion of the plan is dedicated to projects and programs that reduce congestion by encouraging alternative ways of getting around the region. This includes expanding the region’s bike-pedestrian trains, funding the region’s Livable Centers Initiative, tackling traffic bottlenecks and funding initiatives aimed at changing travel behavior such as carpooling, using transit, traveling during off peak hours and teleworking.

A full list of projects included in the plan can be viewed at