Find Your SubMate

New Web site makes it super easy to connect

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Some New Yorkers think the concept of getting matched with commuters with similar routes is cool, while others think it's a bad idea. (Published Saturday, May 1, 2010)

    Think of the super cute girl or guy – or the mom with the really cool stroller or the dude with the awesome gym bag – who you see on the subway every day.

    Come on, you know the person – the one who waits at the same spot as you for the train because, like you, they want the closest access to the right staircase when they get off and they don't want to get trampled by the unruly commuters swarming behind them.

    Maybe you want to date that person – or just ask them a question about where they work out – or how much they paid for that designer shirt or where they take cooking or language lessons and whether they might offer you some tips.

    Meet your mate – on SubMate.com – a new Web site that makes it easier to break the ice by connecting people with similar commutes.

    Just plug in the origin, destination and time frame of your daily commute and you'll see how many "submates" travel on similar lines. The site will prompt you to create a profile (you can even import your details from Facebook) and then you'll be able to see the profiles of your submates.

    The site launched a few days ago, but similar versions already exist in Paris and London and the site's developer has plans to expand to more than 65 cities and 35 countries.

    Developer Laurent Kretz, a Paris-based programmer, told The New York Post he came up with the idea when he asked a woman he frequently saw at a Manhattan subway station if she could give him some tips for improving his Spanish.

    "I was living in the East Village, working on 57th and Seventh," Kretz told the paper. "Sometimes, after work, we met around the station at the Starbucks at Cooper Square. It lasted a couple of months."

    Kretz wanted to make developing that type of connection easier for his fellow straphangers.

    "Every day, before and after your commute, you're surrounded by people," he told the Post. "Among them, there might be a bass player for your band – or a cute girl you could date."

    While some straphangers are eager to get involved, others remain wary. By giving out the details of a daily commute, some fear they'd make themselves vulnerable or expose themselves as a target for subway crime. But as the site developer would likely point out, people who have those concerns perhaps shouldn't sign up.