US News and World Report claims to have identified the 10 best US cities for public transit:
1. Portland, OR
3. New York
7. Los Angeles
9 (tie). Denver
9 (tie). Austin
All fine cities. The methodology:
The rankings take into account per capita spending on public transportation, number of safety incidents per million trips, and the number of trips taken per capita.
But then there was this:
Analysis of data from the Federal Transit Administration and APTA shows which cities are among the best in the country for public transportation. All of these cities' systems have unique features that set them apart. Portland's public transit provides riders with a variety of travel options, including buses, light rail, commuter rail, streetcars, and an aerial tram.
Aargh! Diversity of technologies says nothing whatever about travel options! And if Portlanders really did have the options of a bus, a light rail train, a commuter rail train, a streetcar, and an aerial tram all competing for the same trip, that would be a pretty silly network, wouldn't it?
UPDATE: Followup post is here!