The Greater Madison MPO was created through an agreement between the Governor and the City of Madison, and other municipalities in the Madison Urban Area making up over 80% of the population. The agreement which became effective May 2, 2007, redesignated the MPO for the Madison Area in accordance with Federal law. The Greater Madison MPO assumed the responsibility to conduct transportation planning and programming for the metropolitan area from the previous MPO, the Madison Area MPO, following the MPO's reorganization. MPOs have served the Madison Urban Area since 1973.
Area wide transportation planning in the Madison metropolitan area has been officially in progress since 1961 under the original title “Madison Area Transportation Study (MATS).” In 1970, the Madison Area Transportation Plan was approved by each of the participating governmental units, and the Transportation Study entered the “continuing phase” and reorganized to be part of the Dane County Regional Planning Commission (DCRPC), under the title of the Dane County Transportation Study (DCTS).
In November 1999, following a reorganization of the DCRPC, the Governor redesignated the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Madison urbanized area by agreement with the City of Madison. The redesignation established a new Madison Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to conduct transportation planning and programming for the metropolitan area, transferring this function from the DCRPC to this newly created entity. The Madison Area MPO went through another redesignation in May 2007 to bring the structure and membership into compliance with new federal regulations. The name of the MPO was changed to the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board (MATPB). The name of the MPO was changed again to Greater Madison MPO in 2020.