"gold standard" when it comes to transit in the United States.
Those of us (including myself) who have transit exposure to some of the truly great transit cities always found that description hilarious. Portland has a nice little transit system that operates pretty well in the city of Portland during business hours. But that's it. There is nothing 'spectacular' about the Trimet system.
Sure Trimet made #11 but the difference between the top five transit agencies and the bottom five is pretty spectacular. Even Denver and San Jose have a more 'rider friendly' transit system than Trimet does.
The essential function of transit is too hook citizens to job prospects, that is what this University of Minnesota study rated. Trimet is not considered 'reliable' transportation to most employers in the Portland region. There's a reason for that.
Read the study here: Access Across America