Transit Planning

Connecting People and Communities

downtown trolley

Part of the MPO’s role in the region is to plan for and promote public transit facilities and specialized transportation to connect individuals to their community and region. Public transportation in the Memphis region includes various modes, such as van pool services, paratransit for senior citizens and people with disabilities, trolleys, local and express bus service, and water taxis.

The MPO also considers other types of public transit in planning for the region’s future transportation needs. For instance, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) options have been or are currently being studied for corridors with particularly high transit usage and potential.

The MPO works closely with the staff and leadership of the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA), the region’s primary transit provider, to plan for the current and future transportation needs of residents across the region. Currently, several studies are under way to assess the need for transit in new parts of the region, as well as to provide enhanced service within existing coverage areas. Additionally, the MPO’s Long Range Transportation Plan addresses possibilities for future transit service in the region.

For information on existing MATA bus and trolley service, or to plan a ride, please visit

Transit Planning Efforts

Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) Short Range Transit Plan

MATA's Short Range Transit Plan is an in-depth study of transit system. The goals of the Short Range Transit Plan are to:

  • Make sure MATA services meet and support community needs.
  • Make the bus an attractive option for more people in the community.
  • Ensure MATA services are operated in the most cost effective and efficient way possible.

To Download the MATA Short Range Transit Plan click HERE

Coordinated Public Transit - Human Services Transportation Plan (CPT-HSTP)

Coordinated Public Transit - Human Services Transportation Plan

Coordinated Public Transit - Human Services Transportation Plan - Appendices

Coordinated Public Transit - Human Services Transportation Plan - Executive Summary (Español)

The Coordinated Public Transit – Human Services Transportation Plan (CPT-HSTP) for the Greater Memphis region is prepared in compliance with the federal transportation law Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), as well as the recently adopted Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST).

FAST requires that projects selected for funding through FTA’s Section 5310: Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program be “included in a locally developed, coordinated public transit – human services transportation plan” and that the plan be “developed and approved through a process that included participation by seniors, individuals with disabilities, representatives of public, private, and nonprofit transportation and human services providers and other members of the public.”

The purpose of the CPT-HSTP is to create a better transit system for transportation disadvantaged populations: older adults, persons with disabilities and persons of low-income. This includes evaluating the existing paratransit, demand response transportation, human service agency, non-profit and private for-profit providers. Similarly, the current service gaps and challenges faced by transportation disadvantaged populations are assessed. Using the information gathered, a catalog of strategies is created to address those gaps and challenges. Lastly, the plan prioritizes strategies and activities for funding and implementation.

The purposes of the CPT-HSTP are to:

  • Inventory available transportation services;
  • Assess transportation needs of transit-dependent populations including older adults, persons with disabilities, and low-income individuals;
  • Identify gaps and duplications of services;
  • Select strategies for meeting unmet transportation needs; and
  • Produce an action plan for implementation of strategies.

The development of the plan was a collective effort between the Memphis MPO, the West Memphis MPO, the West Tennessee RPO, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD), and the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT). The current CPT-HSTP was adopted on May 5, 2016.

Bus Stop Design and Accessibility Guidelines

neighborhood bus stop

The MPO, in partnership with the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) has embarked on a new porject to established a set of standards and guidelines for bus stop improvements in the future. For more information regarding the study, click HERE.

DeSoto County Transit Feasibility Study

The MPO coordinated with the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) in 2012 and 2013 to conduct the Desoto County Transit Feasibility Study. In recent years, DeSoto County's population has grown and become more diversified, changing the travel patterns of its citizens and visitors. This study was undertaken to evalutate the possibility of and demand for public transit services in DeSoto County, and whether or not such services would be successful. The study saught to:

  • Evaluate current conditions and needs in DeSoto County, as related to public transportation;
  • Identify public transportatin service options and strategies;
  • Identify funding opportunities for transit; and
  • Recommend projects for implementation, should they be found feasible.

To download the DeSoto County Transit Feasibility Study, click HERE.


Contact Us

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Mailing Address:

125 North Main St., Suite 450

Memphis, TN 38103

Tel: (901) 636.7190

Fax: (901) 636.7272






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