CHICAGO (CBS) — Some people swear by the CTA ‘L’ system, others love to complain about it.

But while users’ descriptions of the rapid transit system might range from efficient and convenient to crowded and frustrating, would one really call it romantic?

Actually, a recent study by Craigslist says yes.

Of the five largest subway or metro systems in the country, the Chicago ‘L’ ranked the most romantic in the study, outshining New York, Washington, Philadelphia and Boston. The ‘L’ claimed half of the top 10 most romantic individual transit stops in the study.

To compile the rankings, Craigslist went to its “Missed Connections” ads for each city, and determined how many mentioned a certain public transit station. Users of the “Missed Connections” section post ads seeking attractive people they saw or spoke with somewhere in the city, for whom they failed to get contact information.

The busy Belmont Red-Brown-Purple Line station was the most romantic Chicago ‘L’ stop, and third overall in the study. Also in the rankings were the Addison Red Line stop next to Wrigley Field, which came in fifth; the California Pink Line stop in Little Village, which was sixth; the Linden Purple Line terminal in Wilmette, which was seventh; and the Fullerton Red-Brown-Purple Line stop, which came in eighth.

But even though the Chicago ‘L’ won the romance contest overall, a couple of stations in other cities came out ahead of any Chicago stop.

The most romantic transit stop in the country was the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Washington Metro stop in Fairfax County, Va. In second place was the Cecil B. Moore stop on the SEPTA system in Philadelphia, which, according to the Philadelphia A.V. Club, won the ranking “even though it smells like pee.”

The “train romance index score total,” or “TRIST” for each station, was calculated by dividing the number of Missed Connections mentions for each station in the study by average ridership for the station, then multiplying that figure by 10,000 and rounding to two decimal places.

But the actual ads are far more interesting than the methodology.

Wrote one man to another man in dark blue scrubs, whom he met on the southbound Red Line: “We have eyed each other (or at least I have) occassionally (sic) on the red line. Today we definately (sic) had some stronger eye contact… Would love to descrub you sometime.”

Wrote a man who saw a girl with a literal dragon tattoo, again on the Red Line: “I really dug your whole vibe and style and wanted to say something but you had headphones on. Instead we brushed arms a few times. You got on at Belmont or Fullerton, and off at Clark and Division. We caught eyes as you were getting off…. If you see this, reply with a similarly vague description of myself, and let’s grab coffee or a drink sometime.”

In a study last fall, Craigslist ranked the most romantic stations within the CTA ‘L’ system. In that survey, the Belmont stop also came in first.

Adam Harrington,

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