A Novel and Practical Method to Quantify the Quality of Mobility: The Mobility Energy Productivity Metric: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Recent technology innovations are enabling fundamental improvements in mobility systems, including options for new travel modes, methods, and opportunities to connect people with goods, services, and employment. A desire to quantify and compare both existing and emerging transportation options motivated development of the mobility energy productivity (MEP) metric described herein. The MEP metric fundamentally measures the potential of a city's transportation system to connect a person to a variety of services and activities that define a high-quality of life, relative to the convenience, cost and energy needed to provide these connections. Fundamentally derived from accessibility theory, the MEP advances practice by using readily available travel time data (either from web-based application programming interfaces (APIs) or outputs from an urban transportation model) combined with established parameters that reflect the energy intensity and cost of various travel modes, and relative frequency of activity engagement. The construction of the MEP metric allows for aggregation and disaggregation to the appropriate spatial, modal, and trip purpose resolution, as analysis needs dictate. The MEP could be used to compare alternative futures related to technology, infrastructure investment, or policy, providing a much-needed tool for planners, researchers, and analysts.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2020
Event2020 TRB Annual Meeting - Washington D.C.
Duration: 12 Jan 202016 Jan 2020


Conference2020 TRB Annual Meeting
CityWashington D.C.

Bibliographical note

See NREL/JA-5400-73468 for related article published in Transportation Research Record

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5400-72889


  • accessibility
  • energy
  • isochrones
  • mobility
  • productivity


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