A Mobility Energy Productivity Evaluation of On-Demand Transit: A Case Study in Arlington, Texas

Research output: NRELPresentation


On-demand transit (ODT) systems are increasing in number and size. In order to evaluate and quantify outcomes, we use the Mobility Energy Productivity (MEP) metric, a holistic tool to analyze, quantify, and compare the mobility and accessibility of various transportation modes in a specific area. In this paper, we apply the MEP tool to the ODT system in Arlington, Texas, and compare the results among four existing transportation modes (drive, transportation network company, transit, and bike) and five additional ODT scenarios. We focus our analysis on the opportunities that an ODT system presents such as serving disadvantages communities. While the results in Arlington show the typical U.S. pattern of driving receiving the highest MEP score, the ODT system best serves those in disadvantaged communities, helping with an equity design goal. ODT improved the average MEP score across the service area by 100% when considering only non-private vehicle modes (bike, transit, and ODT). For the ODT scenarios, decreasing the wait time 50% compared to the baseline scenario led to a nearly 160% increase in MEP score, while increasing the ODT travel speed by 21% led to an 80% improvement in MEP score. The decreased wait time scenario had the highest MEP score out of the six ODT scenarios. This paper demonstrates how ODT can enhance mobility, particularly for disadvantaged communities. The results of a MEP analysis can be used by researchers and transit agencies to compare transportation modes and improve the effectiveness of transportation systems in subareas across a service area.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2024

Publication series

NamePresented at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 103rd Annual Meeting, 7-11 January 2024, Washington, D.C.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5R00-88432


  • accessibility
  • case study
  • equity
  • microtransit
  • mobility energy productivity
  • on-demand transit
  • public transportation


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