CCRPA is the federally-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for central Connecticut. Every urbanized area of at least 50,000 persons must have an MPO in order to access federal transportation funding. As the region's MPO, CCRPA is responsible for the management of transportation planning in the region, including data collection and analysis of transportation issues facing the region, identification of potential solutions, development and regular updates of regional plans, selection of transportation projects for support, and budgeting of federal funds.
As part of the process, CCRPA collaborates extensively with a variety of actors. These range from interested citizens and local governments to the Connecticut Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway and Federal Transit Administrations. CCRPA also works closely with neighboring RPOs, including including the Capitol Region Council of Governments and the Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments, with whom CCRPA forms the Hartford Transportation Management Area.
CCRPA is the parent organization to the Central Connecticut Economic Development Alliance (CCEDA). As such, CCRPA produces and updates the region's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. In addition to the CEDS, CCRPA and the Alliance are seeking designation of the region as an Economic Development District.
In other State legislation, regional planning agencies are given additional duties:
State legislation enables municipalities jointly to form a transit district. Transit districts enjoy certain rights, including the assumption of transit operations from the Connecticut Department of Transportation and the imposition of taxes on their members. As region has not opted for a transit district, CCRPA serves de facto as its transit district. While this means the Agency does not exercise direct control over the region's buses, as part of its transportation planning, CCRPA actively monitors and provides input to their operator, CTTRANSIT.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation has contracted with CCRPA to provide ADA paratransit service in central Connecticut. (ADA paratransit is public transportation mandated by the federal government for persons who, on account of disability, cannot use regular buses.) CCRPA is responsible for all aspects of paratransit in the region. These include service monitoring and planning, operations, advertising and outreach, processing of applications, coordination with neighboring operators, and customer service.