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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

All aboard the love train

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CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

(Love is in the subway image by Benurs, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Step aside, OkCupid. The Prague subway is introducing singles-only carriages in the hope of boosting the city's birth and marriage rates.

Since a baby boom last decade, birth rates in the Czech Republic have been on the decline, a trend that many locals believe is a serious problem. One company, however, has a novel solution.

Would you ride a love carriage?

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Ropid, which manages Prague's public transportation, is proposing the introduction of singles-only carriages in the city subway so that single people can meet, Czech news website Tyden reported.

"People today have no place to meet. Maybe somewhere at parties, at work. Here they have the opportunity. In the Metro, you can read, learn, so why not find a partner?" Filip Drápal, a spokesman for Ropid, told Tyden.

With a launch date set for the end of this year, the company still needs to fine-tune the idea: which carriage and what times, whether it's every day or just one day a week, or maybe a specified hour.

Czech reactions are mixed, with a poll on the site declaring that while 52 per cent of respondents like the idea, 42 per cent find it daft. The remaining 8 per cent don't care either way. Local newspaper MF DNES found that commuters were worried about the attention it might garner.

"When I'm in a rush, I enter the first open door I see. I should watch out now and make sure no one starts seducing me," Petr Voracek told the paper, while Karolina Vranova was concerned about gossip, saying: "What if someone sees me in the carriage and tells my boyfriend?"

Meanwhile, Tyden is more optimistic. "Prague metro annually transports nearly six hundred million passengers and could thus become the largest dating site," the website said.


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