Love in the times of long commuting

The possibility (or the burden) to move around the city affects the life of the citizens and their happiness perception. Bruno Frey and Alois Stutzer observed the overall life satisfaction considering the commuting experiences. They found that a person with a one-hour commute has to earn 40% more money to be as satisfied with life as someone who walks to the office. On the other hand, for a single person, exchanging a long commute for a short walk to work has the same effect on happiness as finding a new love.

For those commuters that haven’t got the chance to exchange their long commute for a short walk, the Dutch Railways (NS) has come up with an idea to find your love in your commute.

According to Dutch Railways’ research one in four train travelers have had eye contact or flirted with fellow passengers.  Therefore, today right before Valentine’s Day the company will provide four short courses in onboard flirtation techniques in its service from Amsterdam to Maastricht.

The coach, Esther Populier, says trains are an ideal place to practice flirting. ‘You’ve got a lot of practice material because you travel with so many people,’ she says.

The lessons will take place in a special “social carriage

Some 3% of the people interviewed for the survey have had a romance with a fellow traveller, NS said.

There is even a special website in the Netherlands where people can try to get in touch with passengers they have made contact with. Utrecht central station is by far the most popular place to meet someone interesting, the website shows.

This reminded me of Disney’s romantic animated short about finding love in a train.