In part four of NY1's "21st Century Matchmakers" series, Jose Martinez takes a look at how a matchmaking service is making the city's transit system a fertile ground for romance. He filed the following report.
They try, try and try again to create romance via the rails. They're the love conductors and cupids from Train Spottings, mining the subway for potential dates for paying clients of their matchmaking service.
And with more than 1.7 billion riders crowding into the subway last year, the dating pool on the platforms can be plentiful.
"You're just waiting around for the train to come, so what else do you have to do but to check out your handsome and attractive fellow New Yorkers? So the idea came to just help people and throw them together," says Train Spottings Founder/Love Conductor Erika Christensen.
After getting spotted, one can sign up for free on the Train Spottings website before getting paired up on a date. But rejections are plentiful for the Train Spottings crew.
"It's all over the place, really. Like some girls are really receptive, the guys not so much for me," says Cooper McGuire, a Train Spottings "Cupid."
Some riders check it out, others go in for love advice on a subway bench.
"Dating is terrible and hard, so might as well try something," says one subway rider.
And while a soulmate can be tougher to find than a seat on a rush hour train, the matchmakers say they've created a few solid unions. Take Andrew Swartz and Kelly Aronowitz, who were connected after Andrew was spotted while waiting for an uptown A train at 14th Street.
"I was thinking of a friend of mine who recently got married, where she met her husband on the subway and chased him off the subway. So I was channeling her and thinking, 'Well, anything can happen in this city.' And so I was like, 'Ok, I'll just go with it,'" recalls Swartz.
Their first date was less than two-and-a-half months ago and they say they've been inseparable since.
"It was a three-hour date and afterwards, I basically, as I was going down the subway, I emailed Erika and I said, 'Oh my God, this is incredible, I can't believe you found him for me,'" says Aronowitz.
Finding willing singles on certain lines can be tricky for the love conductors who say the 4, 5 and 6 trains are too crowded, while L trains are overflowing with riders who think they're too cool for school.