Planning Overview

Transportation is an Important Part of Our Regions's Growth & Continued Quality of Life

Our transportation system, with its vast network of roads, bus routes, rail lines, sidewalks, and bicycle lanes, is the backbone of our region. Coordinated planning of that system is critical to the continued growth of our local and regional economies. Planning also is important to ensure that as the system grows to manage the traffic congestion that we know is coming as a result of our economic growth and development, and that it grows in a way that is sensitive to our region's valuable natural and community resources.

Serving as a regional partnership among the United States Department of Transportation, Tennessee Department of Transportation, transit agencies, local elected leadership, local planning and public works directors, the business community, and citizens across the five-plus county planning area, the Nashville Area MPO leads in the development of the region's long-range transportation plan and short-range Transportation Improvement Program and contributes to ongoing conversations about issues such as land use, economic development, climate change and the environment, safety and security, and health.

The MPO has the authority to plan, prioritize, and select transportation projects for federal funding appropriated by the United States Congress through the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration; and is responsible to for ensuring the region is in compliance with federal planning requirements and national ambient air quality standards.

Major Efforts

Update to the Regional Transportation Plan for the Greater Nashville Area

In 2014, the MPO kicked-off a major update to the regional transportation plan (RTP) for the greater Nashville area which will identify major priorities for roadway and public transit improvements and help advance efforts to make Middle Tennessee communities more walkable and bicycle-friendly. This comprehensive plan addressing all modes of surface transportation was adopted in early 2016. To learn more, click here.

FY 2017 to 2020 Transportation Improvement Program

The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is the short-range work program used by the MPO to fund projects in the current regional transportation plan. The MPO adopted the region's current 4-year program in 2016, providing nearly 1 billion dollars in investments in roadways, transit, sidewalks, greenways, ITS, and air quality outreach programs between 2017 and 2020. For more information, click here.

Annual Unified Planning Work Program

Every year the MPO seeks input from state agencies, local governments, citizens, businesses, and other interested parties to develop its annual planning work program. Have an idea for a study? Like to see research on a particular topic related to transportation? Read our current planning work program.

Nashville Region's Vital Signs

Each October, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and MPO publish a major report to the region that tracks data points related to key issues affecting Middle Tennessee's economic well-being and quality of life in order to facilitate conversation about community-driven solutions to reinforce our strengths and address our weaknesses. Find the most current edition of Vital Signs here.


Recent Studies


The MPO and its members have updated the region's long-range transportion plan and it is now available for review. The plan was adopted in early adopted in early 2016 and will allocate more than $8 million to improve our transportation system over the next 25 years. Learn more here.

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