Every day, 12 million people take the train or bus. Sometimes Cupid rides with them, and they meet, fall in love and get married. These are their stories.
Anita Wiggins was a 19-year-old cop's daughter in Cincinnati. Each weekday morning she paid her 25 cents and boarded Cincinnati Metro's Route 21 bus from her home to downtown on the way to her job at a medical insurance company.
It was 1975, and she had been eyeing "this very charming young naval officer in dress uniform showing up on the bus every day. He had a lot of charisma, a lot of charm."
Rex Settlemoir, who was a lieutenant working in the federal building downtown, had noticed her, too — "a friendly, outgoing young woman with bright, brown eyes."
One day in late spring that year, he was being annoyed by a fellow passenger who'd apparently had too much to drink. When the seat next to her came open, he asked if he could sit there, and she said yes.
Each day in the USA, millions of people hop on the bus or train, or both, for a ride to work and back. Or they take transit to run errands, or catch a movie or sporting event. Every day at least 12 million people make about 35 million trips on public transportation.
And every day, somebody catches somebody's eye, and maybe someone finally decides to make a move on that person they have been admiring.
They meet, they fall in love and, sometimes, they get married.
Before Wiggins and Settlemoir got to the altar, though, she had convince her family that he was the real thing.
"When she told her family she had met a Navy guy on the bus, they didn't believe her," says Rex Settlemoir, 64.
"My dad was in total disbelief," says Anita Settlemoir, 57. "He didn't believe that a naval officer, who had gone to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, would be stationed in the middle of the country."
They got married on March 6, 1976, and celebrated their 37th anniversary last year. As part of Cincinnati Metro's 40th anniversary celebration, the Settlemoirs renewed their vows — after riding a Metro Plus bus to the Fountain Square downtown.
Sometimes people have such a special connection with public transportation that they want it to be part of their special day.
Like Michael Cassidy.
On a snowy December Chicago morning in 2006, Cassidy and his girlfriend, Tracy Wasserman, stepped off a Chicago Transit Authority Brown Line train at the Quincy platform stop on their way to work.
Cassidy dropped to one knee right there on the slushy platform and asked Wasserman to marry him.
"I couldn't believe it," says Tracy Cassidy, 34. "The element of surprise was in full effect. It's kind of a blur. I think I said, 'Oh my God, why are you doing this?' Then, of course, yes."
Cassidy says he decided to propose at the beautifully restored Quincy platform because Chicago Transit was such a vital part of his life growing up. "I took public transit to grade school, high school … and to DePaul University in Lincoln Park," he says.
They were married Oct. 7, 2007.
Now, they take their daughters, Cate, 5, and Elle, 1½, on the train. "I've taken Cate to Chicago Cubs games, and it's about three stops from home to her preschool, so we sometimes take her on the train," says Michael Cassidy, 34.
Siobain Palmer and Dave McDaniel didn't actually meet on the bus. But it was a bus ride that brought them together.
They met in junior high school in Long Beach, each too shy to tell the other that they were smitten. Then she transferred to another school, and they'd see each other from time to time, but never spoke of their feelings.
A few years later, he happened upon her outside her apartment and she gave him her phone number. By then, though, they were both dating others.
Then one morning in April 1991, they found themselves on the same Long Beach Transit bus: She was on the way to her boyfriend's apartment to make up after a fight; he told her that he was headed to a temp agency. "I said, 'Oh, so am I,' " says Siobain McDaniel, 49.
"We spent the whole rest of the day together," says Dave McDaniel, 50. "That whole day was like a movie."
They got married a year later — on the bus. "You could rent a bus in those days," says Siobain McDaniel. "Our invitations said, 'Meet us in the Broadway parking lot.' "
In 2012, they celebrated their 20th anniversary — on the bus.
Dozens of friends and family members who had attended the wedding joined them.
The driver was the same woman who had driven them on their wedding day.