In what is a first - and definitely cute - marketing gimmick, Caltrain unveiled a commuter's romance story on Valentine's Day, touting the benefits of riding its sleek trains while dangling the possibility of falling in love.
Sujata Mahidhara, 37, and Anirudh Joshi, 34, both of San Francisco, both were riding a Caltrain to their respective jobs in Sunnyvale in June 2012. And after spending 45 minutes each way with each other, five days a week, Mahidhara said she's found her "life partner," and the two plan to wed in May.
The happy couple were featured on a Caltrain blog on Friday, where the agency had called out on Twitter for Caltrain commuters who had love stories to share them, and be publicized on Valentine's Day. This was the first time Caltrain has called out for transit romance tales and it was the brainchild of communications manager Jayme Ackemann, spokeswoman Christine Dunn said.
The couple's friends - many who also ride Caltrain - urged Mahidhara and Joshi to share theirs. And they did.
Mahidhara is an engineer and senior product manager at Broadcom. Joshi is president of SyncTV. They met for the first time coincidentally at a friend's party in the spring two years ago. But they never exchanged numbers.
Then they bumped into each other a month later. Where else? At a Caltrain station in Mountain View.
Joshi found that that Mahidhara always took the train to work, and he stopped driving his car. "After that, he was suddenly on every train I was," Mahidhara said.
They talked, they laughed, they met each other's friends. Their first date was at The Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, and they were engaged 11 months after they met. He wanted to propose on a train and even had plans to rent out a Caltrain car. But there were no available dates until August, and "he just didn't want to wait," Mahidhara said.
The couple plans to marry this spring and keep their cars parked - maybe permanently.
"We'll still be commuting on Caltrain," Mahidhara said.