Speed Dating on the Red Line: it’s baaaaack

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Last year, Metro held the first ever Speed Dating on the Red Line, and we’re gearing up to do it again this year! The date is set for Friday, Feb. 13 — yes, it’s a Friday and yes, it’s the thirteenth, but it’s only a day for bad luck if you allow it!

So mark your calendars and get ready to meet other transit riding romantics. If you hit it off with someone, you’ll have a date for Valentine’s Day! And if not, you’ll have some fun and maybe see the subway in a brand new light. We’ll post more details about the event over the next few days, so make sure to check back for updates.

To get you in the mood for love on the rails, here’s a little video about the etiquette of love in transit. You may not find the one you love while riding the bus or train, but behaving properly on board definitely won’t hurt your chances!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4BYNazQSpM]

P.S. Share your brushes with transit romance using the hashtag #LoveMetroLA and we may feature it here on The Source in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day!

23 replies


    The GOOD: I had a chance to view the video last night. Nice work! It’s an entertaining video and reminds us all of common courtesy and etiquette while riding public transportation. Anna should definitely be complimented on her level of enthusiasm. Hope her romantic interest in the video doesn’t become too jealous during the Speed Dating event on Feb. 13. 😉

    The BAD: I have to agree with the comments from B Jams. It just seems like way too many in today’s society have totally forgotten how to interact and show common courtesy while riding Metro. A little help from small teams of Metro representatives, politely and respectfully reminding riders of the basic rules of riding, could probably go a long way to cleaning up transit riders’ attitudes and interactions. Instead of having those art boxes along the main corrider at Union, perhaps they can be converted into “video boxes” with short take-home messages.

    The UGLY: Evan’s comment above couldn’t be more wrong and inaccurate. The silent video is cute, informative and provides us with a quick and simple reminder of how riders should interact on the Metro. I can’t image how a silent video, made from an iPhone, with Metro employees as the actors, and edited at a computer that already had the necessary editing software, could cost a substantial amount of money. We need more like it.

    So keep up the good work! Not all of us share the same views as Evan. (thank goodness!)

    • Thanks for this detailed review, Dani! Warms the cockles of my black black heart. 🙂

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source
      (Woman in Transit)

  2. What’s really surprising about this thread is that a lot of comments, both good and bad, pertain to transit etiquette.

    And while not everyone may feel as though educational videos are required, I honestly think that there should be MORE videos, not only on this site, but seen throughout Union Station, reinforced along the Metro bus TV systems and installed at either the station platforms or the trains themselves. Maybe I’m in the minority on this topic, but many people riding the trains and buses either simply don’t understand or completely disregard proper transit etiquette.

    Personally, I’m tired of seeing Senior citizens and the Physically Disabled struggle to find seats. Especially when all indicated seats are occupied by some high school teen or young adult oblivious to the situation on the vehicle. Other times, it’s a capable and healthy individual who takes up one seat and has the need for their backpack or purse(s) to occupy the other.

    If we can’t have videos, can we at least have those “blue shirt” attendants more involved and engaged by riding the trains and buses or walking the platforms in groups of 2-3 in an attempt to encourage riders to follow and practice better etiquette patterns?

    • The problem is several fold.

      1. Lack of aisle space for more standing space. If there were less seats, like seats all facing the aisle, more healthier people will stand and seats will be catered toward only those that need it.

      2. Sometimes the bus is too crowded. See above. Seats take up too much space. When the bus is overcrowded, people are forced to stand up, step aside, and do musical chairs.

      The root of the problem is too many seats. Get rid of some of them and increase aisle space. You can’t have “I want seats and I don’t want to stand” and “make all healthy people stand.” It has to be a trade-off for one for the other.

  3. During a time of fare increases and cuts in other Metro Departments, how do you justify the resources being put into making films like this that do NOTHING in terms of service enhancement? I don’t even see how this advances participation in the 2/13 event. I’d love to know how much this cost in terms of employee pay and hours spent from concept to delivery. Shame on you, Communications Dept.

    • It took a few hours of staff time to film and edit. It was filmed on an iPhone and edited with software we already owned on a company computer. And I strongly disagree that it was a waste of time and/or resources. Our job is to promote our events — and the Speed Dating one was popular last year — and to promote following rules on transit. And we’re going to try to do that and be creative while doing it.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • Speed dating on a train feels a bit silly when 20% of passengers feel unsafe riding it. But what the hell, shooting an Iphone video that will be viewed by at most a few thousand times is a lot easier than tackling real issues.

        • Hi Finn;

          I think the survey you reference was more nuanced than your description. http://thesource.metro.net/2014/05/06/results-for-metros-biannual-onboard-survey/

          As for the video, not every photo or blog post or video we publish is widely viewed. We publish them because we feel like it’s good to push information out about government, just as we feel the need to be creative to promote both events and/or etiquette. There was actually a lot of interest from the public and media in the speed dating event last year and etiquette (or lack of it) is something our riders frequently talk to us about. We’re not going to stop trying to be creative. Some people may like it, some may not. But I’d rather be interesting than boring and I think that ultimately is good for everyone.

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source

    • New York MTA tackled these same issues by paying like $100,000 on a Johnnny T video… This video definitely cost less than $200 total to make (concept to delivery).

      • I don’t believe the Johnny T video was made by MTA in New York. Rather, I think it was the Gloves and Boots YouTube channel.

        Steve Hymon
        Editor, The Source

    • Lets see…shot with an iPhone during employee’s lunch breaks. Shame on YOU, troll, for wasting the Editor’s time in having to respond to your useless comments. And you don’t see how an ad for an event may increase participation for that event? Hmm.

      • “Shame on YOU, troll, for wasting the Editor’s time in having to respond to your useless comments”

        Disagree. No matter what the comments, it’s the editors’ job as being paid by taxpayers to respond. If they think it’s a waste of time, which you cannot say, they are free to move to the private sector. Your opinion is noted, but at the end, the United States guarantees its citizens first amendment rights, even those to who you don’t agree with (try Googling how the ACLU ended up protecting the 1st amendment rights of the KKK).

      • Uhhh…what?! I don’t see where it said it was done on “employee lunch breaks.” And the “Editor” is in no way compelled to “respond to [my] useless comments.” My observations are valid. I didn’t/don’t see the point, and others do. Show me how attendance at the event is increased by this type of taxpayer-funded activity, and I’ll believe it. But I simply don’t see how people can watch this film and decide to go to the event. There are plenty of things Metro do that are not a wise use of taxpayer money, this is one of them. Is anyone YOU disagree with considered a “troll?” Wow.

      • Larry- this is not a free speech issue. Evan is entitled to his boneheaded comments just as I am entitled to lambaste them.
        Evan- citing this video as yet another waste of taxpayer money is sad. There are plenty of glaring and actionable public spending issues out there, yet this one just grinds your gears, huh? I know somebody who is going to be alone on V-day!