Fortunately, some closed and protected spaces allow us to rekindle our interest in others – even that special certain someone. Once free of the need to navigate urban structures and strictures, we can let our guard down and open up in nice bars, fancy clubs, or even on public transport. Craigslist’s sizeable “missed connections” section, for example, is brimming with love-struck hopefuls looking to reconnect with people they have spotted on the subway or bus. At the same time, shared eye contact or shy smiles are rarely enough to lure potential partners – and make later online reunions happen. But help is at hand, or so I discovered when researching the ever-popular fairy-tale of public transport romance. Here are five new ways to help love along when all you have is that fleeting moment between two stops.
A tram for singles
The city of Prague recently stirred the media with its new tram line for singles. A concept tried and tested by the city of Zurich before, as part of their irregular “Gesehen@VBZ” (as seen on@ Zurich’s public transport) campaign and platform, Zurich’s novel match-making initiative offers special night-time rides through the city with a fun party DJ and plenty of time to chat, dance, and connect on the tram.
The marriage train
Why stick to the city or just one night? Why not take a little break from it all and enjoy a special ride together? Spotting a popular niche in the market, Japan’s Kintetsu Corp, one of the country’s major rail operators, started to expand its regular schedule by several “marriage trains.” These organized tours (priced at around €130) feature several stops and events that encourage interaction and getting to know each other. Railway staff play an active part in encouraging the shyest among the passengers to break out of their shells and find potential partners. As an added bonus, the scheme also helps to revitalize rural areas by taking the urbanites out into their city’s surroundings.
The dating bus
Transportation Company Drieuit from Den Haag takes locals around the city on a dedicated dating bus. For optimal matchmaking success, the frequent tours are divided into age brackets (20-30, 30-40, 40-50) and include a barbecue, a drink – and maybe even a pleasant date at €50 per ticket.
The subway matchmaker
While all of the above are fine and dandy – would you really trust a train, bus, or tram company to handle your most intimate desires? New York City hosts a far more personal and somewhat humorous approach. “Love Conductor” Erika Christensen has made it her mission to connect singles via her boutique matchmaking service Train Spotting. Old school in attitude – a third party connects searching souls – The Love Conductor nevertheless has a fresh ace up her sleeve. In her role as modern-day Cupid, Christensen scours the sprawling New York City subway for suitable candidates and then matches these hand-picked singles with other likeable underground finds. Once paired by Train Spotting, the potential couples are set up on several dates in the NYC area.
So, you have found your perfect partner and kindred soul thanks to public transport serendipity. Congratulations! What next? Time to celebrate the result in style: with a romantic and subway-themed wedding like New Yorkers Serena and Melissa. Swapping stretch limos for subway carriages, they not only reached their wedding party destination underground, but also embellished the actual event with plenty of subway-themed details and features, including bouquets fashioned from subway maps. All of this to express their love for the city that first brought them together: New York.
Text: Claudio Rimmele
Header image: Calvina Nguyen