Sex + Dating

How Prague is making creeping people out on the subway romantic

Prague love train
Photo Courtesy of AFP

In an effort to make skeeving out total strangers on public transportation socially desirable, the city of Prague has officially introduced subway speed dating. Their singles-only “love trains” will roll out later this year along three of the city’s underground lines, according to Spiegel Online. The program aims to increase ridership while “encouraging romance,” says some dude who convinced the city that being trapped in a speeding subterranean barrel while strangers make sexual advances on you is the stuff fulfilling relationships are built on.

The upside for straphangers

  • Multitasking. Seasoned matchmaker the Czech Transportation Authority says the program will "show what activities you can do in public transport that you cannot do inside your car (like reading, studying, listening to music, playing e-games and checking emails)." So basically, they're encouraging people to pick up members of the opposite sex by completely ignoring them in favor of chemistry textbooks and Angry Birds.
  • Cutting to the chase. The average train ride in Prague is five minutes. That city is going to get very efficient at seduction.
  • No derailing the morning commute. To avoid overcrowding other carriages, the city won't begin love train service until after the AM rush hour concludes, meaning Praguians won't be getting O’Jays with their breakfast.
  • It’s performing a public service. A spokesman for the project states, “We realize a negative trend of more and more people being single or not married... So we would like to help these people and generally draw attention to this social phenomenon as well." So Prague’s biggest urban transportation problem isn’t finding ways to decrease pollution, it’s fixing the love lives of the single, and not-married.

The downsides:

  • Public humiliation. If, during the stone cold sobriety of their nightly commute, riders strike out, they have to step through a seriously claustrophobic gauntlet of shame.
  • No escape. After "Hey, since we're not occupied with steering wheels, do you want to read together?" falls flat, that five-minute ride won't seem so short anymore.
  • Déjà vu. The increased likelihood of seeing the same singles again and again won't be awkward at all. Oh, and if you start dating a fellow rider and then stop... well, that can't happen, because Czechoslovakia doesn't believe in breaking up.