Building Connections On Public Transit
“It’s a pain in the ass, that’s why everyone doesn’t like it. And there’s like a bunch of random strangers, one of who might be a serial killer, OK great. And so that’s why people like individualized transport, that goes where you want, when you want.” — Elon Musk
Do those words sound familiar? If they don’t, let us bring you up to speed.
Late last year, Wired reported on Elon Musk’s awkward dislike of mass transit. Following the spread of his remarks, there were a plethora of comments in response. People noted their incredible transit stories, and from this, the #GreatThingsHappenOnTransit hashtag was born.
Some of the stories were so heartwarming and tugged at all our heartstrings, we decided to round up some commuting stories of our own.
ATTACK OF THE CYCLIST
The title starts off a bit cynical, but we promise it’s not all bad.
Liane had just finished going out for dinner with her roommate Fabrice. As they were walking, Liane stepped out to cross the street when she was hit and knocked to the ground by a cyclist. The “crazy driver” was incredibly apologetic, repeatedly saying how sorry and horrible he felt. He ended up walking her to home to make sure she was ok and wasn’t too injured. They’ve been dating each other for almost half a year now.
OLD AND NEW LOVE
Many people buy their significant others small trinkets as a way to represent their love for the other. Some purchase flowers and jewelry, while others buy double-decker buses. That’s exactly what Ken Morgan did when he saw the red and white bus where he and his wife met.
Ken and Shirley met in 1956 while she was a conductress in the UK. At the time, Ken was on a 60 mile trip from Gloucester to Cardiff. Soon after meeting, Ken left his position in the Royal Air Force and became a bus driver to work alongside Shirley.
Ken was quoted by BBC, stating that working on buses together were “some of the happiest times” of his life. It only makes sense for him to purchase a 1949 Guy Arab double-decker bus, which is the same model him and his wife Shirley met on. If you’re wondering what the price was for this token of his appreciation, it was roughly $15,000, but that was a small price to pay for memories and nostalgia it brought back to the couple.
Although the bus stays housed in a transport museum, the two worked together to restore it to its pristine original state. Shirley still has her original conductress badge and wears it “with as much pride” as her wedding ring.
Keepin’ It Classy
This one’s not necessarily a romance story in the traditional sense, but we think it’s still worth mentioning. People often don’t want to talk to each other while commuting, and to reaffirm Elon’s comments; some may even think others are serial killers.
Despite the feelings of dread and apprehension some feel while on transit, two strangers decided to put those emotions aside and bond over some sparkling wine (or perhaps champagne). Colleen Hagerty, a BBC video journalist, captured this pure moment on the 6 train in New York. She later stated that “the man on the left actually found [an] empty bottle also under the set to drink from.”
This moment highlights pique transit experiences, while also reminding New York City commuters to always look under their seats.
YOU MET YOUR WIFE WHERE?
Following Elon Musk’s comment and an array of passionate responses, we stumbled upon Jeff Speck’s reply. We reached out to Jeff to get more information on this love story, and our curiosity was satisfied when we got some inside information.
Jeff was 40 at the time and had just traveled from Miami to D.C for a new job at the National Endowment for the Arts. He and his future wife were both waiting for the MARC Train. It connects from the BWI Airport to downtown Washington D.C.
How did the two start conversing? Well, Jeff saw his later-to-be wife on the platform but was too shy to start a conversation. Luckily for him she “comes from Iowa and talks to everyone.” Just as she commented on the beautiful moon, a train blew by at around 80 mph. As Jeff put it, there were “definite goosebumps.”
This coming April, the two will be married for 12 years!
Have a story worth sharing?
Do you have a transit story you’d like to share with us? Check out our call for submissions, or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to reading (and publishing) your stories!