The Metro Consortium, which includes Admiral insurance, British Gas and Cardiff Business School, says the transport system is an opportunity to rethink the role of towns and communities across the Valleys.
The report's author, Mark Barry, said the metro would simply connect connect the region, and "give the region the opportunity to be more economically effective."
More top news
Cloudy and damp evening and night with low cloud giving hill fog and patchy drizzle
A mostly cloudy and murky day with widespread hill fog and outbreaks of rain.
Official figures show areas of Caerphilly, Rhyl, Wrexham, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Bridgend to be the most deprived in Wales.