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Getting There: The ISEPTAPHILLY Blog

28 Days of [SEPTA] Love

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Mark Twain once said, "I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them." Which means if you meet someone while traveling and you hit it off - you are destined to be together!?

We've asked SEPTA riders if they found love - true love - lasting love - while riding SEPTA. We asked, and they overwhelmingly answered. It turns out love comes when you least expect it - on early morning commutes from the burbs, on late night train rides from the game and on Sunday bus trips to the market. Franklin P. Jones got it right when he said, “Love doesn’t make the world go ’round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”

And while we often go to extremes to avoid crossing paths on the platform, meeting eyes on the El, or brushing shoulders on the bus, maybe these stories will cause you to think twice and view your commute as not just a means from "point A to point B" but a means to a future "you and me". 

This February, we're revisiting some of these SEPTA Love Stories...

1. Traci: Ever since we started dating, my husband and I have been known to friends as “the couple that met on the train.” Let’s start from the beginning… Michael and Tracy grew up in the Philadelphia area, in neighborhoods just a train stop away from each other. They attended nearby high schools, took part in similar area activities, and had the same hangouts – but never met. Then they went off to different colleges. After graduation, both returned home, started their careers and commuted to work in Center City Philadelphia, via the Regional Rail R7, while they waited to meet that special someone. No one would think to put these two together…Michael is an Actuary - a numbers guy, a real straight shooter; Tracy is in Non-Profit Public Relations and is an artsy talker. For months, they rode the SEPTA R7 Train - getting off and on at home, one stop away from each other, with varying schedules. They shared Suburban Station in Center City; but since they worked on opposite sides of Billy Penn, their paths had never crossed. Until one summer day, destiny struck as Michael walked onto the same home-bound R7 train car where Tracy had just taken a seat. He caught Tracy’s eye as he smiled and…kept walking. ‘I wish I could meet a guy like that,’ she thought to herself while awaiting her stop. To Tracy’s surprise, Michael exited the train a stop before hers. As he passed by, consciously not looking her way, she wondered where she could meet a guy like that and thought about her usual hangouts: ‘There is no way a girl meets a guy like that at the local pub’s happy hour where the rest of the poor fresh college grads hang out.’ About a week after seeing him on the train, Tracy went to the local pub to enjoy a happy hour with some girl friends. To her surprise, the handsome man that she had deemed “train boy” was standing at the bar. It was as if Journey’s song, Don’t Stop Believing, was the sound track as Tracy walked up to the bar next to Michael, turned to him and said, “Oh, I think you are on my train.” They talked for a couple minutes about their stations and where they worked, but then Michael’s friends were leaving, so they said their goodbyes. Disappointed, but elated to have met him, Tracy stayed another hour before heading to another favorite local hangout. As she and her friends joked about “train boy” while walking from the parking lot, Michael and his friends were now walking out of that same place. “Hey look, it’s train boy/girl” they both said. Again they talked a bit. Neither wanted to seem too eager, so they exchanged, “say hi to me on the R7” sentiments and then went on their way – not to cross paths again for about another month. The thought of actually meeting someone on public transportation seemed like a silly idea to both of them, but they thought about each other, keeping an eye out on the train. After a month of long work days, off schedules and solo train rides, Michael and Tracy ran into each other again at their favorite local pub. This time, they talked for hours, exchanged numbers and decided to get together one day after work. Soon, they were inseparable with a great story to tell of how they met... Tracy’s friends still called Michael “train boy” for a while, and “Michael R7” was dubbed in Tracy’s cell phone (and still is to this day). To keep the enchanting train theme going, the couple had engagement pictures taken on the Cornwells Heights platform, next to and on the R7 Train, and various favorite spots in Center City. They then used these photos for their Save the Date magnets and later for the reception. A poster directed guests to find their seats by the station stops on the R7. Each table then had a purple picture frame with the names of each R7 Station and photos of the couple in various stations and the R7. Michael and Tracy are happily married and live in the Philadelphia area, not far from their fateful R7 line. They hope to start a family in the next couple years after they have traveled (by train whenever possible!) They often tell the story of how they met. But Tracy isn’t the only on in the family to have met Cupid in Transit. Tracy’s parents met working in college as toll collectors on the PA Turnpike, while her brother and his wife met while working at the AC Airport. We call ourselves the “Trains, Planes and Automobiles Family!”

2. Christopher: It’s June 30 1987, a bustling day, especially for Bike Courier, Chris, who’s day is near an end, stopping at my favorite newsstand within the westbound side of the MFL to grab The Daily News and catch a chat with my Jamaican Buddies who run and lease the newsstand. As I am carousing the papers and gum and having a laugh, out of the corner of my eye comes the prettiest girl I had seen all year and the one that would change my life. Problem was she was on the other side of the platform. What to do??? Start talking, Stupid!! And that’s just what I started doing and within minutes I had a small rapport going with her until suddenly I mispronounced the word Benetton on her shirt and she proceeded to correct me on the issue… I thought to myself, quite spunky this one is yea… better keep talking… so from across the tracks we started talking and found it was the last day at her job at The New Flower Market which was located on the lower level at The Gallery, Also found out she was an Inxs Fan and that increased the comfort level even more. Since I happened to be heading the same way she was I figured I would ask if she wanted company, Told The Jamaicans I was Out and Then the fella from the stand belts out in his trademark accent, “She Gonna shoot ya down ya bummbaclat, ya doesn’t stands a chance, I says, Yea ya bastard, I got a tenner that says I’m riding with her and we’ll see about that. So I yell from across the other side of the tracks, hey love, this slick Jamaican says I have no chance with you, so tell me pretty young thing, are you gonna shoot me down or should I come over there with you, I got a tenner riding on this so what’s the story. She smiles and says, give him the tenner and get over here, My heart dropped, looked at the paperman gave him the tenner and proceeded to hit the stairs to the other side to keep talking to this slender small Philly beauty which stood before me, We boarded the train and continued to Erie-Torresdale where he dad was gonna meet her. We said goodbye, exchanged phone numbers, called each other and 4 days later went out on our first date on July 3 1987, and we have been together ever since. We married on May 25 1991 at Peddler’s Village in New Hope, PA and have a son and are still SEPTA Commuters.. we are regular riders of The Route 75, 66, MFL, BSL, Regional Rail (R5 Doylestown). And my son likes trains and buses. We just thought we would share our story, because it is a TRUE TRUE Story and YES… I found Love on SEPTA and never lost it.

3. Colleen: Our story begins in Spring 2009 at 22nd and Spring Garden Streets. Danny and I had both just missed the 9:30pm Route 43 bus to Fishtown. I was heading out to meet some friends and he was heading home from a friend’s house. Usually having to wait 40 minutes until the next bus would be a bad thing, but tonight was different. We started talking and immediately we seemed to have a lot in common. The conversation flowed easily until the bus arrived. It was getting late so the bus wasn’t very crowded. We sat near each other and kept chatting. As we approached my stop, I felt that Danny and I had established a connection, but I thought “Come on, who meets someone on the bus?!?!” So I said goodbye and started walking off the bus. Then as I pass the bus driver heading to the door, I hear Danny’s voice behind me. “Hey, can I get your number?” I was definitely surprised and so I stuttered, “Uuummm, I don’t know…” Luckily Danny didn’t turn right around and head back to his seat. He stood there smiling with his phone out and after a few seconds I gave him my number and said goodbye. I walked off the bus, assuredly beet red! So over the next week we exchanged a few texts and decided to meet for a drink that weekend in Northern Liberties. As for me, my first-date jitters disappeared right when Danny walked up to the table. We just seemed to click and I knew that I was with a very special guy. Then Danny picks up the coaster on the table and makes a funny face. I picked up mine and we both burst out laughing. The coaster was part of a SEPTA marketing campaign advertising new late-night Regional Rail trains on the weekend. Our coasters read, “One more chance to use the “I have a boyfriend” line.” I put mine right in my purse – what are the odds that these SEPTA coasters would be at our table? I was definitely happy I didn’t use that line on the 43 bus a week earlier. After that, we were head over heels! Over the summer we spent as much time together as possible, and still it was never enough! We had so many nice dates in Philly, spent some days down the shore, met each other’s families and friends, and fell in love. Soon Danny’s birthday approached. I had kept the SEPTA coaster from our first date and I thought it would be nice to get some more of them to add to his gift. I called SEPTA’s Marketing Department to see if I could get my hands on some. Well it turns out that having those coasters on our table that first night was an even stranger coincidence than we had originally thought. That ad campaign was over a year old and its promotional materials hadn’t been distributed in a long time. Luckily someone from the department did some digging for me and was able to find some coasters in time for Danny’s birthday. It was a great surprise and now we have some extra reminders of our first date. Danny and I are so happy together! And SEPTA has definitely helped our relationship grow because neither of us owns a car. Every time we get on a bus we think of our first meeting and how glad we are that I didn’t use the “I have a boyfriend” line!

4. Becki: I was running late for work one day and ran onto the subway at Spring Garden. I like to be on the first carriage as it's the one closest to the exit at the station so I walked through the train to the right carriage. Sat down and out the corner of my eye a guy was looking at me through squinted eyes so I put my headphones in (no music just needed to look like I was busy). He got up, came sat behind me, started tapping me on the shoulder, I ignored it! Tapped me 2nd time, I ignored him again. Tapped me a 3rd time and this time it was harder so I took out my headphones and said "what?" He asked if I recognized him, said my name - I lied and said no it was Claire. He called me out that I was lying and that we had in fact been talking / met on a dating app for a month prior - I had avoided going out on a date! 3 days later we went on our first date, 3 months later he told me he loved me and we've been together since then!

5. Francisco: I met my fiancé on the MFL. She bumped me so hard, she knocked my coffee I just got from Dunkin' Donuts out my hands! And got angry at me for being in her way! I apologized deeply to her! After that incident we became closer and fell in love!

6. Margo: If you ride SEPTA’ s Regional Rail on a somewhat regular schedule, you get used to seeing the same familiar faces along your route. You exchange smiles, nods, and maybe even "hellos" or "goodnights" as you make your way each day. Sixteen years ago, I noticed a handsome guy at the R7 stop in Cornwells Heights, who never seemed to smile, or nod, or say hello to anyone, day or night. He was well-dressed and seemed nice, but aloof. I was intrigued and decided I wanted to try to get his attention. On Monday, February 5th 2001, I found a parking spot near his in the massive Cornwells Heights parking lot, but he must have taken an earlier train that day and I missed him. Mother Nature sent us an unexpected winter storm that afternoon, and my office cleared out early. I hung around a while as I was still relatively new there, and eventually left a couple of hours early. Off of my regular schedule, I wondered if meeting my handsome stranger might not be in the cards. I made my way to the platform at Track 4, Section A, expecting a long and frustrating trip home. Jammed with people, the scene was a mess. And then I noticed him – my handsome stranger – standing calmly in that sea of people. I made my way over and stood nearby, amazed that we somehow ended up there together, both off-schedule but still in sync. After a few minutes of taking in the scene, he said, “This is going to be a shame,” in my general direction. “Yeah,” I smiled. The chaos of the mass exodus was sure to make this a rough trip home – but he talked to me! We stood there through the arrival and departure of several other trains, waiting for our R7, exchanging few words. At one point I went upstairs for coffee and he stayed put.  When I came back to the platform, the train had been rerouted to Track 3, so everyone had moved, and I decided to play it cool. As the R7 finally arrived, my handsome stranger and I ended up in seats one in front of the other. He took out a book and started reading. The book, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ Love in the Time of Cholera was one I had always wanted to read, and I took one last chance and told him so. That started our first real conversation, which continued the whole ride back to Cornwells Heights, and then further on the shuttle to our snow-covered cars. He cleared the snow off of my car and we chatted. The next morning, I got to the station early to be sure not to miss him. This time, he saw me and smiled, and we talked, and we’ve been together ever since. We eventually bought a house down the street from the station, and a portrait of the train platform has hung in our family room since our tenth wedding anniversary, in 2013.

7. Kristen: Hi! I met my husband at the Girard stop on the Frankford El in 2002. It was September and I had just moved to Philadelphia to attend Temple University. That semester, I took a theater class that required roaming all over the city to see plays and musicals for the course. I had used SEPTA a few times, but wasn't too familiar with it, and so while I made it to the play easily on the subway, I ended up getting lost on my way back. I accidentally got off at the Girard stop on the Market-Frankford Line instead of the Girard stop on the Orange Line. Whoops! I must have looked confused (after exiting the train and not recognizing the stop), because a handsome young man in a black hooded sweatshirt approached and asked if I was lost and if he could help. He showed me how to cross over to the other side of the track and gave me directions to the orange line and Temple. Then, he smiled and left. I sat on the opposite side of the track, waiting for the westbound train to take me back toward Temple. Little did I know, the handsome stranger had left the subway and walked down to street level, only to have a change of heart. He climbed back up the stairs on the west side of the street, swiped his TransPass, and found me on the opposite platform bench. The two of us officially introduced ourselves while I waited for the train to arrive. His name was Paul, and he was a Temple student as well! He wrote his telephone number down on the back of a pay stub and handed it to me just as the train approached. We married in October of 2008. The two of us and our sweet pit bull Gloria now live a block from that Girard El stop. We sit on that platform where we met (and where we've sat together countless times) and we'll always be thankful for SEPTA, chance encounters, and most of all - each other. Thank you!

8. Jamye: Once upon a time, on the Regional Rail Media/Elwyn Line, there were two recent college graduates living at their parents houses and commuting daily into Center City for work. We each thought the other looked familiar, but couldn't place why. One day, I gained the courage to sit next to him on the train and we quickly connected.  Turns out, we went to the same high school!  We graduated different years and never crossed paths... until SEPTA brought us together. We fell in love with the city and with each other and are now living together in Manayunk. We may have never found each other if it wasn't for our shared commute on the Regional Rail!

9. Troi: About a year ago I reconnected with my high school sweetheart on the Broad Street Line. We were both on our way down to Center City, we both ended up canceling our prior plans and hanging out together. We've been dating ever since.

10. Althea: I didn't realize it then, in the early 70's, but I was having a hard time trying to be strong, working, raising children and hoping to some day have a serious love life, someone to be there for me that I could count on. It must have been written on my face somehow, I guess. I was working as a clerk in North Philly in those days. Everyone would either wave as they walked by or would stop in on Friday's to cash their checks. One particular young man would smile at me and say hello each time he came in. I would always smile and say hello in return even though I saw him, I wasn't conscious of who he was. One cold winter night in January, I rode the 15 trolley going west. It was the older trolley back then and very crowded, standing room only at 5:00 PM and as I moved to the back door of the trolley to signal my stop a tall handsome young man approached me with a slight smile and said "hi, you know I've seen you on this trolley before and every time you get off you leave something". I was tired and in deep thought over what dinner would be and other things regarding home, and startled I looked around to see what I had left, looking confused at the young man he said with a smile, "me".  We both laughed and I got off at my stop. The next time I saw him we began to talk and ride the trolley west together. One evening he got off with me and walked me home. That was the beginning of a deep and meaningful relationship that has lasted for over 30 years. We married in 1987, raised our children and grandchildren and worked together building a relationship that has transcended time, but we will always remember our days on the SEPTA Trolley going west. Oh yeah, we were married February 14, 1987 at 12:00 noon. Happy Valentines Day!

11. Rick: I was sleepy-eyed that late April morning in 2014 as I made my way to the platform at 30th Street Station to begin my journey to New York City. Awaiting the SEPTA Regional Rail that would take me to Trenton, where I would transfer and continue my trip, the excitement of going to see my first Flyers playoff game against the rival New York Rangers was jolting me awake. Little did I know that later that same day, I would meet the beautiful woman that would become my girlfriend just four short months later. After spending the day cheering on the Flyers in enemy territory (sadly they lost), it was time to make my way back home to Philadelphia. Luckily, I sat right across the aisle from this gorgeous dark-haired girl with a "don't mess with me look" to her. In a chatty mood, I did my best to strike up a conversation with her on the first leg of my return journey.  We exchanged pleasantries and made small talk, being careful not to reveal too much information (trying hard to keep our guards up). As I seamlessly switched trains at the Trenton Transit Center, I thought, "Well, that was nice," knowing I was not likely see her again. After we started out from the station, a quick glance around the SEPTA train car would prove me wrong - There she was just two rows behind me! I sprung from my seat and plunked down next to her to pick up where we left off - I had to know more. Though the ride went by a little too quickly and I was not able to get her number, I was sure to give her mine, along with a tip that my birthday was coming up later that week. We went our separate ways and I had to convince myself to try to forget about the girl from the train. I almost did until I received a text message on my birthday that read, "Happy Birthday train buddy." We quickly made plans to meet at Monk's Cafe to double check our instincts from the train ride.  We must have been right, because here we are, living together in South Philadelphia, commuting on the Broad Street Line to our jobs together, and about to celebrate another Valentine's Day together. Thanks SEPTA <3

12. Rob: After boarding a train one day, I noticed a new and very beautiful girl on the train. I could tell she noticed me as well. We exchanged glances and smiles for several months. One day, a broken train allowed us to talk to each other. Although we didn't officially go on a date for the next few months, I knew she was special. After she asked me out one afternoon on a train ride home, we have been together and inseparable ever since. I proposed to her in the concourse of suburban station one morning.  That was the spot where we always kissed goodbye before going to work. We got married and now have twins! Although our commute is much different in the morning than it used to be. We credit SEPTA for our love and family.

13. Jennifer: I moved to Philadelphia in May 2004 and started taking the R6 from Wissahickon to Suburban Station. After a few months, I saw this really cute guy standing at the far end of the platform. Eventually, he would come to be known as “Spikey-Haired Cute Guy From the Train” to my closest friends. One day, I noticed that he was standing a little further up the platform than usual. Week after week, it seemed as though he was moving his way closer to me. On January 12th, 2005, I headed to my normal spot on the platform, and there he was, that spikey haired cute guy from the train, standing there with a Metro – and he handed it to me with a brief “hello.” He did the same thing the next day as well. Our conversation didn’t go beyond that single word, but I could barely contain myself when I got on the train those two mornings. I told my friend that I was going to initiate conversation with him the next day. Unfortunately, he wasn’t on the platform. On the 19th, he was back – with another Metro and more conversation. We introduced ourselves, talked the whole train ride into the city, and went on our first date the very next day. After a few months of dating, I learned from his friends that his slow shift on the train platform was a calculated move that took him weeks to initiate. He had been talking about me for weeks (his nickname for me? Hot Girl From The Train. Haha.) Finally his friends convinced him to say hello. We’ve been together ever since that fateful day in January 2005. And on November 14 , 2009, Jason and I were married. We stopped at the Wissahickon Station and had photos taken on the very same platform where we first met. Even though we now live in Center City and don’t take public transit as much anymore, we will always be grateful for SEPTA – without it we may never have met.

14. Stephanie: In August of 2009 I was waiting at the 67 bus stop to catch the bus to work. There was one other person at the bus stop. A cute guy around my age holding a fishing rod. He asked me if I knew what time the bus was coming and our conversation continued from there. We always say he "reeled in" more than fish that day as he also reeled me in. Our story proves you can find love while riding SEPTA.

15. Martin: I recognized a girl I went to college with on the Regional Rail and sat next to her because she was wearing a sweatshirt with the University's name on it. We talked from Torresdale Station to Suburban Station and ended up planning a date for later that week. We spoke about how we both live in Northeast Philadelphia, and that she takes the train every day to work! After that, I began to see her on the train every day and it made my mornings much more pleasant! We have been dating for two years and are moving in together later this year. Thanks, SEPTA!

16. Larry: I began riding the old R7 Trenton Line right out of high school in the fall of 1982. Commuting from Bristol to Drexel University for my engineering degree was my new life. As time went on, I would ride the train with my brother or other friends. In the fall of 1984, I noticed a new passenger riding the train with us. She would get on at Bristol and get off at 30th Street Station. Soon after leaving the iconic train station, she would disappear down into the depths of the trolley line. Being a Drexel student, I was already on campus, so I never knew where those mysterious steps went. All during that school year, I would see this new, attractive young lady ride the train, frequently with a male train-mate. I had just assumed that they were “together” and would casually greet them at the station, but nothing more. Through the winter and spring, we would all greet each other cordially. It was in a conversation later in the school year that I learned that this “couple” were actually brother and sister, and certainly were not “together”, as I once had thought. All of a sudden, my cordial greetings became a little more focused on one particular train-mate. Unfortunately, her brother would now be stuck sitting by himself occasionally if an empty three-seater wasn’t available. Sorry, Bob! After we began talking, we both learned that while I was thinking she was involved with her prior train-mate, she was also thinking the same of me when I would sometimes sit with an old high school friend. Come late June of that year, I finally got the nerve to ask her out to go miniature golfing with me on July 5, 1985. I vividly remember jotting her phone number down on the only paper in my pocket—my tattered red and white Trenton train schedule, of course. From then on, we spent many, many train rides together. She eventually taught me where those mysterious trolley steps led as she welcomed me to visit her campus at the former PCP&S (University of the Sciences). We spent many cold mornings on the train holding hands. It was my job to get her freezing hands up to temperature by the time we got to Torresdale. It was always her job to whip out a bag of M&M’s out of thin air. (I have never figured that one out.) After several years, we got engaged on July 5 at the same miniature golf course, and then got married in 1989. We went on to have five wonderful children and eventually moved to Florida. Whenever back in Pennsylvania, we always enjoyed taking all five kids on the Trenton Line down to Philly. It was a whole different experience with them. They all loved those train rides. They seemed almost at home there. I guess they had it in their blood. Enjoy the M&M’s, kids!

17. Shan: Four years ago, on February 8th, I actually left work almost on time. I’m a teacher and I tend to stay late. On the sub, I chatted with a student. I was so engrossed in the conversation that I didn't notice the girl that got on at city hall. She noticed me. She texted her friend: "I just saw my soulmate on the train. She doesn't know it yet, but she got off at my stop. It'll happen." I didn't know. I remember vaguely a girl exiting the train dressed oddly, with clunky boots and a skirt. There was snow that day, so the attire made sense, but it struck me as unusual nonetheless. The girl walked in front of me as we climbed the stairs. I have no idea why that detail stuck in my head on a random winter day. Six days later, on Valentine's Day, we met. I was acting as wingman (badly) for a friend. The girl was volunteering for an organization. Within minutes, our friends joked that they would see each other at our wedding. I didn't find out about her seeing me on the train for quite some time. I didn't believe her when she told me. She had to go back and show me the text. I’m really glad that oddly dressed girl with those boots became my wife. Best. Commute. Ever. **Edit: My wife pointed out that she was not "oddly dressed" but rather "dressed appropriately for the inclement weather." Haha. Fair.

18. Elena: On April 27th, 2014, I was traveling back to Philadelphia from a birthday party in NYC via NJ Transit to 30th Street Station. It was a nearly empty car and I was looking forward to a relaxing ride home. Just before the train took off from Penn station, two gentleman sat in the row next to me, rocking out to Guns N’ Roses. At first I thought, “Oh, great.” As much as I tried, I couldn’t ignore the man with the kind smile and dreamy eyes who started talking to me about his adventures of the day. I learned that the boys were headed home from the Flyers vs. Rangers game for his early birthday celebration. He started opening up to me about his life. I think he even revealed his social security number to me!  Being shy and cautious, I offered little information about myself other than my first name. Before we transferred at Trenton, he sat right next to me and offered me his business cards. He joked that he was quite the catch, stating, “I work for the city of Philadelphia AND I’m in a rock band.” I darted out at Trenton and we lost each other during the transfer. I sat alone on the next train, wondering. Upon safe arrival to 30th street station, we crossed paths. He asked me to promise that I would contact him either way, because he wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about me. I played it cool and quickly made my way to the Market/Frankford line. A few days later, I found myself still thinking about him. Knowing when his real birthday was, I sent him a simple message that started it all, “happy birthday, train buddy. “Almost three years later, we have very much fallen in love with each other. He has helped me experience all there is to love about Philadelphia. He has brought so much joy to my life and our little home in South Philly. We have been very grateful for SEPTA’s role in helping us access all the fun happenings the city has to offer: Phillies games, the amazing bars and restaurants, and of course, (along with many other concerts), the Guns N’ Roses show one summer at Lincoln Financial. I still can’t believe how lucky we are to have found each other.

19. Peggy: I met the love of my life on the 107 Briarcliff. My beloved Pete would sit behind me and do the silliest things including pulling my hair! To get my attention! Soon we would stop for coffee in the mornings when we reached 69th street and as the days rolled on I would find him waiting for me at 5 pm in the terminal. We were together for 30 years sadly I lost him in 2009 as I write this I can remember the sights and sounds of that 107 bus and the terminal! How I long for those days!

20. Tim: I met my girlfriend, Christa, at Suburban Station and it turned out we both commute on the Trenton Line. But it started 3 years ago. I thought she was so beautiful and her smile could light up the entire station. But I noticed an engagement ring. She was in fact engaged to be married. So I never made a move and completely respected her and her relationship. I also, was in a relationship, actually at the end of a bad relationship. So I kept how I felt about Christa to myself. Well it turns out she was having the same feelings of attraction towards me and like me, she kept it to herself. Three years of stealing glances and polite banter. Then this past September, surprise, she sits down next to me on the train. I hadn't noticed but the engagement ring has been off for over a year! She said Hi and asked for my name. I asked her the same and we talked the whole ride home. We've been dating ever since and sit with each other every day to and from work. We both are very much in love and couldn't be happier. Thanks to SEPTA I met the love of my life.

21. Andrew: When I came to Philadelphia, it was a very stressful and hard move and adjusting to my new city was really tough, especially because I had given up my car. I ended up on the 9 bus from Roxborough to Center City every morning and every night. About a week into my new commute I noticed a really beautiful girl coming to the bus stop at the same time as me. We would always get on at the same stop in Roxborough and get off at the same spot in Center City. It took about two weeks, but I finally worked up the nerve to start up a conversation with her. I'm glad I did because we've been dating for almost four years, we have a great dog and we've traveled all over the world together! We're going to get married and it's all because we used the same bus! And, yes, we still take it together almost daily.

22. Jessica: Nine years ago a guy and a girl met on the SEPTA train on their way into work at their respective offices. That girl is me, and the guy is my now husband, Nick. When my husband first saw me on the train, he said that the first thing he noticed was that I was always smiling and happy when everyone else appeared solemn. Eventually, one day he decided to chat with me and asked me out on a dinner date. I accepted his offer to take me on a date, and we were inseparable ever since. Coincidentally, little did we know that we grew up just one town away from each other but somehow never crossed paths. If it weren't for SEPTA my husband I may have never even met each other. Thank you, SEPTA, for guiding me to my soul mate. As we always say, "you fall in love with the most unexpected person, at the most unexpected time".

23. Christa: Our story starts 3 years ago when I saw a man in Suburban Station that stopped me dead in my tracks. We locked eyes and said hello and kept walking. I kept walking because I was engaged and in a long term relationship that wasn't going anywhere. Over the next two years I had two short conversations and a lot of "hellos" with the handsome stranger. One of those times we both left work early because of a snow storm and we were the only two people around. A year ago my relationship of 15 years ended and everyone I knew tried to fix me up with someone they knew.  I turned down every date because the only guy I was interested in was a man I knew nothing about. A man who grabbed my attention for three straight years. I decided one day a few months ago that the next time I saw him, I would introduce myself.  We ride the Trenton train and I saw him on the platform and I watched him get on the train and I went right on and sat down next to him. I said "hello, my name is Christa and we've been saying hello for a very long time so I thought I'd introduce myself". He responded by shaking my hand and telling me his name (Tim McGrogan) and we have been together ever since that day.  We are head over heels in love and already starting to plan our future together.  he best part of my day is riding the train with him to and from work. We are so grateful that the train brought us together. 🚊💕 thank you for reading our story. 

24. Rachel: I was friends for about a year with a guy named Julian when I was 16. We lost touch after I moved to a new area. Later, at age 18 I decided to go shopping and while waiting at the 24 bus stop at the Frankford Terminal, I saw my old friend Julian. We decided to spend time together and became inseparable ever since. Now we have been together for 10 years, married for 5 years, and have a 9 year old son. I am sort of a homebody so the odds of me running into anyone are very low. Being at that 24 stop was the perfect place and time to change my life forever and meet my soul mate. It was fate that we found each other there and turned an old friendship into a beautiful romance. I can't pass by that spot without appreciating it and feeling so thankful that I stood there that day. Thank you SEPTA!

25. Jacqueline: I take the Regional Rail to work every day. One morning I sat next to a very attractive gentleman with an incredible beard. I had my headphones in and you could see on my phone screen which band I was listening to. He tapped on my shoulder and mentioned that I was listening to his favorite band and that he had tickets to see them in a few weeks. We chatted for the rest of the ride and right before I got off the train, he handed me his number and said "text me if you'd like to see that band with me. I have an extra ticket." I texted him as soon as I got to my office that day! We talked nonstop for the next three weeks until that concert. I didn't see him on the train again (turns out he was not a regular commuter!). We really hit it off at the show and it was the absolute best first date I've ever had. We dated for two years, got engaged, and got in 2017!

26. Eugenia: My husband and I met at 30th Street Station on 2/5/2001 in the middle of a surprise snow storm that hit the city. It was after 8pm; the trains were not running, and I, being a Temple freshman and fairly new to commuting, was cold and scared. I saw a guy who looked familiar, I recognized him from Philmont Station so I decided to start talking to him because if he found a way home I would too. We ended up talking until we finally made it to Philmont (a few hours later) and were train buddies for a year until we officially began dating. Fast forward - we've been married for 15 years and have two girls! A late or suspended train isn't always a bad thing ;)

27. Judith: I met my husband Michael on Valentine’s Day at 15th Street on the Market Frankford Line Platform on Valentine’s Day 1972. He asked me what I did for excitement and I have to say that at first I was hesitant but then accepted his offer for a date. We were engaged by April of 1972. I was from Mayfair and he was from Port Richmond. The rest is history. We have been married since April 14, 1973 and have 2 grown children. It was fate that I was on the platform that day and also that it was Valentine’s Day.

28. Lisa: My (now) husband and I were friends for years before we started dating. In 2003, when we were just friends, we worked together and would often take the #10 trolley from 36th Street to our respective stops in Center City. Then one day, while on the train, something changed. We locked eyes, and he kissed me goodbye when we reached his stop. I was beyond smitten. We’ve been together ever since, have been married since 2009, and have 2 incredible kids. To this day, every time I see the #10, I can't help but smile. Thanks SEPTA!

Anyone else wish February had 35 days...? More stories...

29. Victoria: Michael and I met on the Broad Street Line on Labor Day weekend of 2013. We ended up sitting next to each other on the southbound train, talking sports rivalries (as Mike is a devoted Philadelphia Eagles/Phillies fan). We eventually made our way to Morgan's Pier. Three years later, he would take me back to Morgan's Pier to propose, and now 4 years later, we are getting married in a Philly! Thanks SEPTA for introducing me to Mike on the BSL all those years ago. :)

30. Theresa: My husband, John, and I met in September 1972 on one of the old "Red Rattlers" on the Wilmington Line. I was on my way to work in Philly and he was going to school for Drafting in the Northeast. He got on in Eddystone with his friends and I got on in Sharon Hill and met up with the girls I worked with. But getting on so far down the line I rarely got a seat. This day I was standing in the aisle towards the front of the car talking to my friends and one of his friends was sitting across from them. When we reached 30th Street a gentleman was getting off and instead of waiting for the train to get through the switches I started to sit down and fell into his friends lap. That literally broke the ice. We started dating and have been married for over 40 years. And our train conductor, John, attended our wedding!  By the way my husband has been collecting trains since his parents started him with his first train in 1957 and we had to add a room onto our home to house my husband’s train layout that is up all year around.

31. Rebecca: New Year’s Eve 2014 into 2015 I was with friends riding the El to a party in center city from 69th Street when a man walked on at 34th St. & sat behind me. I jokingly turned to him and asked, "Want to be my 2015 boyfriend?"  He replied yes and played along. As I was getting off at my stop he asked for my phone number. Years later and we are happily living together. It truly was a Miracle on 34th Street!

32. Julia: Ten years ago while riding the R3 West Trenton train home from work at Penn; I sat next to a man with the most gorgeous blue eyes. I noticed him from the time he walked through the door at Market East. On that day the train ran late, and of course I was late for an appointment. This man with the beautiful blue eyes began to talk to me. The first thing he said to me was "I know you for somewhere." I thought yeah great pick up line buddy. Turns out he coached my younger cousin’s ice hockey team, and saw me at the games. I got off the turn after talking to blue eyes for an hour, but I forgot to exchange numbers. So let's just say I frequented a lot of hockey games. Finally blue eyes and I went out on our first date. And two years later Rob and I got engaged on the platform of the Woodbourne station. We have now have two beautiful girls. It was love at first sight on the West Trenton line.

33. Linda: This love story dates back to 1943. My father had been visiting a friend and happened to see my mother waiting for the trolley. The next day, he walked blocks out of his way to wait with her and ride the trolley to her stop. Then he had to walk many blocks back to get home.  hey rode the trolley together every day, and they slowly became friends until he had the nerve to ask her out. She had no idea that he was riding the wrong trolley just to be with her!  It must be have worked. They were happily married for over 40 years. Although they have both since passed, I credit those trolley rides as starting their romance.

34. Melody: I met the love of my life on SEPTA bus #33. It was chilly and we were sitting next to each other complaining about the heat not being turned on. Out of nowhere, he tells me I'm beautiful and he gives me a rose. We exchanged names & numbers and went out on our 1st date. Over wine & sushi, we talked about our future plans and decided to start dating. Ever since our 1st date, we soon fell in love, and now we are happily married.

35. Terri: My husband, Joe, and I met on SEPTA Paratransit on December 13, 1988. Joe is a paraplegic, and he was riding SEPTA to attend classes at Community College of Philadelphia. I had recently had knee surgery and could not bend my leg. So I was temporarily riding Paratransit. Since we lived on opposite sides of the city (Joe in North Philly, me in West Oak Lane), we should not have been on the same van. But we were. I noticed Joe immediately. A big, handsome bald man with a beard. My type. The wheelchair? I honestly had not noticed. Neither one of us spoke. However, a few days later we were once again on the same bus, with the same bus driver. Again, given where we lived, this should not have happened once, much less twice. This time the driver noticed the quite sparks between us. He said to Joe, “Why don’t you ask her for her number?” Joe replied, “She don’t want my number.” I chimed in, “How do you know, until you ask?” So he did and I gave him my number. We talked on the phone for two weeks, and had our first date on December 27, 1988. Dinner and a movie (where I promptly fell asleep). On our first date Joe told me his life story (quite colorful, but THAT is another story). He told me he wanted to get married. I told him that I was not looking for marriage, that perhaps he had the wrong girl. But Joe then said something that forever changed my life. He said, “If you met someone who was good to you, who wanted to spend the rest of his life caring for you, would you consider it?” The way it was worded how could I say, “No?” Four months later Joe proposed, and we married six months later, on October 19, 1989. On October 19, 2009, Joe and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Twenty of the best years of my life. And it all begin on SEPTA paratransit. From meeting to marriage in 10 months.  I thank God everyday for the driver on that day. I was not raised to approach a guy, and I sensed Joe’s shyness. Had our driver not taken the initiative on that day both of our lives would have turned out so differently.

 

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