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SEPTA, the Matchmaker

Heather Redfern
SEPTA Press Officer

They came from all over the Philadelphia region and in different relationship phases: a couple for a few months; engaged; married for years. But they shared one thing in common - SEPTA played a big role in how they met their mates.

For the third consecutive year, the Authority invited riders who had "moving" tales of finding the loves of their lives on SEPTA trains, buses and trolleys to enter the "SEPTA Love Stories" contest and let the public vote for their favorites.

"Our eyes first met in the fall of 2006. I caught Michael's bus (31) on time every morning," wrote Jemetra Harvey in her top vote getting story. "I said good morning, he said hello. I took my seat. This went on for two years until one day I didn't see him anymore." They reconnected in 2009 and have been inseparable since - getting engaged on Christmas 2011.

Jim and Maureen Reis' daughters Rachel and Krista told of their father proposing to their mother on the Fox Chase Line in 1976. Partners Eva and Gretchen can thank an interest U2 and a daily commute on the Lansdale/Doylestown line for bringing them together 20 years ago.

And Randy Blackwell, who met his fiancee Serena through his fellow Regional Rail commuter, wrote "I met the love of my life because I rode the R5 every day! Yay SEPTA, yay love!"

With so many heartwarming and romantic stories entered in the contest, choosing the top 14 was not going to be an easy task - in fact, the public cast thousands of votes at over a three-week period (to read the most loved entries, click here).

On February 12, the winning couples gathered (with nearly 300 other attendees) at SEPTA's Center City headquarters, ready to thaw out from the frigid winter wind with a red hot, romantic ride on the rails aboard the Love Train - a specially decorated Market-Frankford Line six-car train with a perfect view of the Mural Arts Program's "Love Letter Project" - and guests of honor status at a reception following the trip.

The festivities began long before the Market-Frankford Line train pulled into 13th Street Station. The couples, identified by their photo name tags, spread the love by telling their SEPTA stories. When the train arrived at the station, they danced their way onto their own "party car" to the sounds of - what else? - the O'Jays' "Love Train."

The winners of the 2012 "SEPTA Love Stories" contest are ready to party.

Jemetra and Michael's story of meeting on the Route 31 Bus received the most votes.

Daria and Tremayne had something else to celebrate on the Love Train - their Valentine's Day wedding.

Cheryl and George celebrate at the Love Train reception.