Equitable Employment Access Assessed Through the Mobility Energy Productivity (MEP) Metric

Research output: NRELPoster


This paper examines commuting options for an underserved neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio to a major employment center. The analysis is based on an emerging metric called the Mobility Energy Productivity (MEP) metric developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on behalf the Department of Energy (DOE). The purpose of the analysis is twofold. The first is to quantify relative attractiveness of commute modes between the two locations, using a perspective that includes travel time, energy and cost, while providing an equity lens to compare commute options between privately owned vehicles and pooled transportation options. The second objective is to apply MEP in a specific origin-destination (O-D) scenario, whereas previously it has been used primarily as an aggregate metropolitan-wide statistical measure. In so doing, parameters in MEP are further customized and the methodology is refined to account for unique aspects of this case study. Four commute options between the neighborhood and the industry employment based are analyzed: drive alone option, public transit express bus (historical), public transit normal route (current), and a proposed shuttle specific to the O-D pair. This analysis identified issues applying MEP that required further customization: (1) deprecation functions customized to modes other than driving, (2) accounting for first-mile last-mile travel times with transit, (3) accounting for transit frequency without resorting to full simulation. The results provide quantitative insights on the employment accessibility between these two locations, both across modes, and as equity of job accessibility for those who can and cannot operate a personal vehicle.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePresented at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, 9-13 January 2022, Washington, D.C.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5400-81812


  • Columbus
  • MEP
  • mobility energy productivity metric
  • Ohio
  • transit quality


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