Metro-North Railroad Adding ‘Quiet Cars’

NEW YORK (AP/CBSNewYork) – Suburban commuters may soon be able to travel in a railroad car where the loudest noise is a subdued conversation.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell Reports From Grand Central

RELATED: Cell Service Coming To Subway Platforms Next Week

The Metro-North Railroad says that starting with a pilot program next month, 31 rush-hour trains each day will include a “quiet car.”

The railroad says cell phones, music players and other electronic devices will be prohibited unless they can be operated quietly. Headphones will have to be at a volume that cannot be heard by others.

Conversation is OK, but voices must be subdued.

Metro-North, which serves the northern suburbs, says it expects passengers to self-enforce the restrictions.

The railroad says a similar pilot program on its Port Jervis and Pascack Valley lines was well-received and has been expanded to all rush-hour trains.

Do you like this idea? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Peter Haskell
  • John

    Chicago just started this on Metra trains for rush hours only. The conductors enforce it, often on the request of other passengers, and it’s working just fine. The quiet cars seem to fill up a little sooner than the regular cars, so they must be popular.

  • Michael

    This is great news! I wish it didn’t have to be “self-enforced”, but it’s a step in the right direction. Most people just have no sense of respect for other people. No, I do not want to listen to your cell phone conversation. Thanks for wearing ear-phones, but I shouldn’t have to listen to it, too (plus, it damages your ears). Isn’t it embarrassing that the entire train can hear you talking to your friend about all your one night stands and health problems? I would even pay EXTRA to be in a quiet car!

  • p.wilson

    They should bring back smoking cars. Why did they ever stop them? They were great.

  • JustSaying

    And Ebonics

  • rob

    Sounds like a good idea in theory but applied impractically. First of all, MetroNorth saying the policy will be “self-enforced” is merely passing the buck in a way that will only lead to fights on the train. (We know this because MN has set a policy of going to the vestibule if you need to have extended conversations on your cell, but they rarely enforce this and leave it as “self-enforced,” so it gets ignored all the time.) Second, a “self-enforced” policy will only reward those who are the most hostile and least considerate of their fellow passengers, those who already don’t care if they are disturbing you. Third, if you say only certain cars are quiet cars, you’re now by default making other cars the “loud” cars, and because of the routine shortage of cars, it’s not like passengers have all that much choice on where they sit – ESPECIALLY in the morning commute when commuters would be sleeping. If MetroNorth really cared about customer rights and comfort, they would simply enforce their current noise policies now; and they would make them clear in both Spanish and English.

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