It might not be everyone’s idea of a romantic proposal but for two TTC employees, the front of a transit bus was the perfect place to start a new life together.
TTC bus driver Larry Hazan says he proposed to his girlfriend Michelle Hapco on Dec. 10 at Sheppard West Station. Hazan believes it is the first time in TTC history that a staff member proposed to another employee on TTC property. The TTC couldn’t confirm with blogTO.
The location and timing were perfect — Hapco had just finished her final test to become an official TTC staff member.
“I thought it would be memorable and I needed it to be a day that’s special for her,” he says.
Hazan spent about a month sending emails and getting permission to do the proposal with a TTC bus. The bus destination sign was programmed to read “Will you marry me?”
When the day came, Hazan waited for Hapco to come out after her test.
“When I walked around the corner from behind her and she turns around, she thought I was just there to congratulate her,” Hazan says. “And then she realized that I was wearing a blazer, which I’ve never worn in my life.”
The TTC blazer is a formal jacket that Hazan hadn’t worn in his four years as a bus driver.
“She was kind of confused as to why I’m wearing it that day.”
Then Hazan said he started to get emotional but when he got down on one knee, she knew what was happening.
“Obviously, she knew I was going ask, but she almost couldn’t wait for me to finish my little speech,” he says.
He told her she makes him a better person, and that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. She immediately said: “Oh my God, yes.”
The couple first met about 13 years ago, long before Hazan started to work for the TTC. They dated for three years but broke up as the timing wasn’t right. But then they reconnected three years ago on Facebook.
“When we split up the first time, I knew she was the one that got away.”
When they started dating again Hapco visited Hazan on the job to see what it is like. She decided to apply because she also likes driving.
Being a TTC driver isn’t always easy but there is comfort in knowing they both have good, secure jobs.
“It’s like everything else, it has its bad days and it’s got its easy days,” he says. “You just kind of deal with it.”
The couple isn’t planning a TTC theme wedding. It will likely be something small and in 2023 when, hopefully, lockdowns and restrictions will be over.