PATREC has established four research programs to undertake research and deliver high-impact outcomes, although collaboration between programs is expected and required.

These programs were developed in response to the research needs and questions arising from the stakeholder-informed strategic planning process, the research competence base across the three collaborating universities and emerging external funding opportunities.

Land use-transport modelling, economics and information
Continuing growth in population and vigorous economic activity in Western Australia has led to substantial changes in urban boundaries, residential relocation, a steep increase in car ownership, increase in multi-modal travel and freight movements, with effects on congestion and associated societal costs.
Integrated land use-transport planning and policy
Land use transport integration has been a key policy direction in WA for over a decade with its articulation in key transport and planning policies since 1998.
Infrastructure funding and implementation
In recent years all Australian governments have experienced constrained budgets.
Regional planning and transport
Geographical classifications have provided an effective means of interrogating the role of place in shaping our society and economy.