Speed Dating

Longtime readers of this newspaper know all about the trials and tribulations of singlehood in the city. Our Sex and the City column spoke to the anxieties and hopes of tens of thousands of singles in New York who were always looking for that special someone. Back in the high-flying ’90s, that search took people like Carrie Bradshaw to clubs and other trendy hot spots. Now, in our more diminished times, our intrepid heroine might find herself looking for love … in taxicabs.

The city’s plan to allow cab-sharing on certain routes in Manhattan opens up new possibilities for chance meetings among strangers. Until now, Manhattanites saw each other as competitors for that sometimes-elusive prize, an available cab. Now, however, City Hall wants us to rethink our cab culture. For a flat fee of $3 or $4, single riders can cross paths with that cutie across the street by offering to share, er, the back seat for a few fleeting minutes.

Some worry that the plan will upset certain New Yorkers who tend to avoid contact with strangers—or even neighbors. But single New Yorkers might well avail themselves of a chance to spend a few minutes with an attractive stranger.

And if it doesn’t work out, well, there’s always another cab waiting to be hailed.