Designated singles-only metro wagons are intended to boost ridership
“Are you alone? Would you like to meet someone? Then always ride in the middle car. Look around, and if you’re being nice look at him. Do not be afraid to smile.”
That is one message Prague City Hall and its Transport Authority are proposing for new singles-only metro cars, which are expected to roll out the second week of November. The first cars, which have been planned for more than a year, will be labeled as such by stickers on the doors reading “dating wagon” so that passengers know what cars they are getting into.
Apart from direct conversation, passengers will also be able to leave personal messages for potential lovers on a city website.
Prague Integrated Transport company ROPID said earlier in the year that it hoped the plan will encourage commuters to give up their cars and return to public transport as well as foster new relationships. The designated love trains are intended to get people out of their cars and onto the metro.
The singles carriages, according to ROPID, will also give solitary commuters the chance to leave their online dating profiles behind and look for love in the real world. Critics have called the idea a PR stunt and say the scheme is a distraction from the long-term financial issues plaguing the city’s public transport system.
But according to the newspaper Mlada frontá Dnes, Mayor Tomáš Hudeček wants dating on the metro launched as soon as possible. “I’m for the idea and it must be as simple as possible,” Hudeček said. An alternative, toned-down option of using just the last car and limiting the days of operation and hours was dismissed.
Almost 40 percent of Prague residents use public transport as their first mode of transport, and, at 600 million passengers a year, it is one of the busiest systems in the world.