Metro-North To Start Quiet Car Pilot

The topic of noise is one that is always debated whether you ride the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) or Metro-North Railroad. Over the years, some commuter railroads have tried to please riders by having a “Quiet Car” where standard noises like electronic devices, cell phones, etc are not allowed.

Late yesterday, the MTA Metro-North Railroad announced that starting next month, they will be starting a “Quiet Car” pilot program. Here are more details courtesy of the press release sent out:

Metro-North is launching a Quiet Car pilot program on select peak hour trains on the Hudson and Harlem lines beginning Monday, October 17.

The LAST car on certain AM peak trains and the FIRST car on certain PM peak trains will be set aside for customers who would like an environment free of cell phones, loud conversations and all manner of beeps and buzzes. These trains will be designated by a capital Q in the timetable.

The program will be voluntary in nature with customers self-monitoring. However conductors will issue “shh” cards to customers who are non-compliant.

In addition, announcements will be made informing and reminding customers of the location of the Quiet Car and its restrictions. The use of electronic devices in the Quiet Car will be prohibited including cell phones, iPods, DVD players, laptops, etc. unless the device can be used in a manner that does not create any noise. If headphones are used, they must be at a volume that cannot be heard by others.

Customers can converse in the Quiet Car but they must use subdued voices.

Metro-North will evaluate customer reaction to the pilot program and decide whether to expand it. A similar pilot last summer on the West-of-Hudson’s Port Jervis and Pascack Valley lines conducted in conjunction with NJTRANSIT was well received and was recently expanded to all peak trains.

Personally I am not a fan of these “Quiet Cars”. This is not to say I support rude individuals who are unnecessarily loud. However this belief that people have the right to quiet on public transportation is ridiculous.

When one pays their fare, they are paying for a ride from one destination to another. Their money does not & should not guarantee a seat or “quiet”. If someone wants to communicate via their electronic device, in person, or use a electronic device overall, they should be able to do so within reason. Why should they be looked down upon yet people who sleep & snore for instance get a pass.

This in my opinion is a form of discrimination & should not be allowed. As I said, if someone is an obnoxious user, they deserve to be looked down upon. However for those who are capable of communication in a respectable manner, we should have the ability to do so in all cars without fear of interpretation as to what is not quiet enough.

By the way issuing “shh” cards is a completely asinine idea. What are we in, grade school?

xoxo Transit Blogger

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