PATREC works with government agencies and other researchers on the latest emerging topics. 

2019 - 2021

Modelling perimeter controls: Detailed simulation

In our previous project (Improved network performance prediction through data-driven analytics and simulation), we have numerically simulated perimeter control (gating) based on macroscopic fundamental diagrams (MFDs). The results demonstrated the benefit of gating and how the Perth road network could be optimally divided into multiple zones for this purpose.
As the next step towards operationalising it in Perth, this proposed project aims to extend the work by more detailed simulation of traffic behaviour and gating strategies. It will produce better estimates of the potential benefits and effectiveness of the MFD-based controllers and enable Main Roads to make informed decisions. It will pave the way for an actual trial if the estimated benefits are significant.

Find more information on iMOVE website: Link

Working from home: Changes in transport demand in Perth

Focusing on Perth, WA, this project aims to ascertain the extent to which Working from Home (WFH) has been undertaken and will continue to be. Digging deeper, the project will look at aspects such as:

  • the productivity impact when WFH is compared to the workplace, from the perspectives of individuals, employers, and the economy at large
  • the proportion of reduced travel demand that is attributable to WFH
  • the utility of WFH as a future demand management tool for the mitigation of congestion on all transport networks
  • the potential for higher levels of WFH to enable expansions of the transport network to be deferred or avoided; and the facilitation steps that would be required if it became desirable to expand the level of WFH in the longer term

Find more information on iMOVE website: Link

A Smart Transport Technology Roadmap for Perth

This project aims to identify promising technologies that can best address key transport and mobility challenges in Perth, Western Australia (WA) and outline a Smart Transport Technology Roadmap for the next three to five years.

Reduced traffic throughput, higher crash rates, reduced public transport reliability, reduced walkability and increased fuel consumption and emissions are features of WA’s increasingly congested roads. The timely development and implementation of technology solutions (or Intelligent Transport Systems, ITS) to enable a safe, efficient and seamless transport system is essential to supporting the State’s future productivity and liveability.

For several years, RAC has been calling on the Federal and State Governments to commit funding for the planning and deployment of smart transport technologies to improve safety, efficiency and reliability for all road users.

This project will support RAC’s social impact activities by recommending the most beneficial Roadmap option for Perth through Strategic Analysis (Stage 1), and Options Identification (Stage 2).

Find more information on iMOVE website: Link

Australian Transport Research Cloud (ATRC)

By providing transport researchers with streamlined access to the key datasets and open source analysis and modelling tools necessary to address complex transport issues facing our cities, the new Australian Transport Research Cloud (ATRC) will deliver the requisite knowledge base to inform smarter transport management, planning and policy making.

A collaboration between Australian transport researchers, planners and policy makers (from government, industry and private sector), the iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN). This project will provide a common platform comprising data, tools, storage, compute to support the needs of the Australian transport research community, by extending the existing AURIN platform.

Find more information on ARDC website: Link

Econometrics, land use inputs, and strategic transport models

The project will improve the interactions between urban transport and land use systems, especially at the level of individual decision makers (households and enterprises). It will approach this through the provision of advanced econometric support in a practical implementation of a bid-rent model structure and parameter estimation as part of a newly established land use model. This will produce robust and high-quality household and business activity inputs to transport modelling.

This is necessary to facilitate the understanding of impacts of new and emerging transport technologies and behaviour changes (including the effects of autonomous vehicles, shared vehicle ownership, shared car driving and ride-sharing, and voluntary household behavioural change), enabling the land use model to better estimate behavioural responses through the incorporation of location choices of households and business.

This research will contribute to providing an enhanced understanding of:

  • the econometrics theory underlying the model
  • estimating and using the bid function

Find more information on iMOVE website: Link

Enhanced vehicle detection at traffic signals and on smart freeways

The project will investigate alternative vehicle detection technologies for traffic signal control and smart freeway operations through a comparative desktop analysis and field trials of shortlisted technologies at two locations (intersection and freeway). This research will be used to inform decisions on future traffic network investments, primarily through the future enhanced detection installation business case and delivery strategy, particularly for future smart freeway projects.

Find more information on iMOVE website: Link

Managing transport system investment risk: enhancing patronage predictions and adapting strategic asset management and appraisal processes to account for emerging trends and uncertainty.

For transport planners and government transport agencies, the uncertainties of emerging technologies and changing trends challenge conventional transportation decision-making, both for long- and short-term planning. The purpose of this project is to adapt key existing planning tools, guidelines and frameworks to account for uncertainty of changing trends and emerging technologies. This will enable the Transport Portfolio of WA to better manage transport infrastructure investment risks.

Public confidence in use and roll-out of shared, automated and electric – retirement village shuttle bus trial.

This overall purpose of this project is to provide unique experimental data on the effects of exposure to and trial of a SAEV on older people’s attitudes, intentions, and behaviours relating to SAEV use.

Industrial land analysis – freight demand forecasting.

The aim of this project is to further our understanding of Fremantle container trade and its relationship to freight transport usage across Perth and Western Australia. A particular focus of the project is to assist in the analysis of intermodal freight activity and to inform government policy aimed at improving intermodal usage into the future.

2017 - 2019

Addressing Future Uncertainties of Perth at 3.5 million: What-if Scenarios for Mass Transit.

Informed the implementation of P&P@3.5 million – research into LU mix and intensity at stations and activity corridors to support 11% mode share target thereby informing business plans for investment in station precincts.

Factors Affecting Travel Behaviour Change.

Research to target the most appropriate travel demand management interventions for different demographic groups to reach 11% aspirational mode share targets in the transport plan for P&P@3.5.

An Appraisal of Travel Plans and Voluntary Transport Behaviour Projects.

Research to identify and and allow for appraisal of a targeted suite of TDM instruments that will be necessary in managing congestion. In particular, travel plans and DOT’s flagship voluntary travel behaviour change (VTBC) program, Your Move. 

Understanding Travel Behaviour Patterns and Trends.

Performance monitoring in near real time – feed into the Directions/P&P@3.5 Annual Report Card; public transport on demand matrix validation, improve strategic modelling assumptions; inform PARTS survey sample frame, supporting evidence-based policy formulation.

Understanding Road Freight Demand Generation Patterns Per Industry Type – Perth Road Freight Analysis.

Provided data on road freight activity (scale, nature, origin-destination pattern and growth trends) and support planning for economic clusters.

RailSmart Wanneroo Planning Support System

A proof-of-concept Planning Support System which demonstrates the application of academic research to better inform public decision making. Using evidence-based modelling, future development scenarios in terms of employment creation and public transport patronage in the City of Wanneroo can be tested. 

RAC Pulse of Perth

The real-time travel patterns of Perth commuters captured in a timelapse video. 


2013 - 2016

Independent Transport Modelling Review.

Responding to transport modelling needs, capabilities and gaps, identified through a rigorous transport modelling stakeholder engagement process, the review examined current transport modelling practices in Perth, benchmarking them against best practice in Australia and overseas.

Congestion Abatement through Travel Demand Management.

Developed a working definition of travel demand management (TDM), capturing various perceptions on what travel demand management is thought to be and compile a matrix of measures being implemented. Focus was placed on  approaches to assess TDM policies targeted at congestion mitigation including measures of congestion.

Mass Rapid Transit @3.5

To research, evaluate and advise on the options for the primary mass transit network to serve the Perth and Peel metropolitan region to cater for a population of 3.5 million and beyond as set out in the documents making up the Perth Planning Framework.

Activity Centres: Making Land Use and Transport Work – Stations in or near freeway medians – reconciling node/place conflicts.

To inform decisions regarding the co-location of new freeways, rail lines/stations and activity centres and also strategies to improve land use and transport outcomes in existing settings.

AURIN WA Data Hub.

To enable programmatic access to WA data through the AURIN portal to allow urban researchers, policy and decision makers across Australia to interrogate and analyse WA spatial datasets along with many other datasets within the AURIN environment. The focus was on transport and urban planning datasets.

Stated Preference Survey – Experimental Design.

To design a suite of Stated Preference (SP) surveys and to examine the advantages and feasibility of combining these SP surveys with the upcoming Perth and Regions Travel Survey (PARTS, scheduled for 2016) to improve the mode choice component of Perth’s strategic models of the current strategic models.

WA Freight Studies – Stage 2.

The Urban Freight project  provides a qualitative understanding of freight vehicle usage per industry sector supply chain, starting with the grocery sector of the retail industry as a pilot to provide a platform for a more fine-grained analytical study.

Activity Centre Accessibility.

The study ascertains, through analysis of accessibility and development potential, which activity centres should be prioritised to support decentralisation of jobs, encourage better integration of transport and land use and ultimately aid the evaluation of a more compact, consolidated and connected city.

Infrastructure Funding Research Priorities and Project Planning.

Research that integrates value capture into the PPP framework so that predicted value capture receipts can be factored into the PPP framework for funding of construction and operation.

Seed Projects:

    • Use of Mobile Fitness Application Data to Model Bicycle Usage Patterns 
    • Suburbs Research for Australian Cities 
    • Transport Technology Futures 
    • Travel Behaviour Change
    • Employment self-sufficiency 

ARC LIEF Urban Analytics Data Infrastructure (UADI) Project.

Develops an urban analytics data infrastructure that builds on the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN). Specifically it developed and implemented a technical framework for Urban Transport infrastructure, modes, quantity and quality.

iMOVE Bid-related seed projects:

    • Network operations research needs
    • Freight industry research needs

Creating Age Friendly Communities:  Local Transport Solutions Project

PATREC contributed the component of Evaluation of age-friendly community pilot transport services to a broader project which was used to inform the development of an Integrated Transport Strategy for the Wheatbelt to allow older residents across the Wheatbelt to better access key services and infrastructure

Urban – Freight vehicle usage of Perth metropolitan area roads – Regional – Grain freight activity on southern Wheatbelt roads

A qualitative understanding of freight vehicle usage per industry sector supply chain, starting with the retail industry to provide a platform for more fine-grained analytical study.

The Regional Freight project wa a first attempt to gain some systematic knowledge of grain road freight usage