Metro-North Quiet Car pilot coming to Hudson, Harlem LinesBy
As New York City Transit’s underground stations are on the verge of getting nosier with cell service to debut next week, Metro-North may be getting quiet. The commuter railroad announced today a Quiet Car pilot for the Hudson and Harlem Lines and an extension of a similar pilot along the Port Jervis and Pascack Valley lines.
The details are simple: Starting October 17, on certain peak trains, the last (AM) and first (PM) cars will be set aside for commuters who would like to avoid ringing cell phones, loud conversations and other gadgetry sound effects. These trains will carry a Q with them on the timetable. The program, says Metro-North, will be voluntary with customers self-monitoring. Conductors, though, will issue so-called “shh” cars to non-compliant riders. That’s sure to go over well with petulant cell-phone users. Those who wish to converse in the Quiet Cars must use subdued voices.
Along the West-of-Hudson routes, a similar pilot has been wildly successful. According to a July study, 82 percent of riders were satisfied with the Quiet Car program with nearly 20 percent moving to the Quiet Car and only four percent sitting elsewhere. After a few months, Metro-North will evaluate the East-of-Hudson pilot before deciding whether or not to expand it. “We are pleased that Metro-North’s West of Hudson quiet car program has proved popular with riders and support Metro-North extending this initiative to East of Hudson lines, as our Council has urged in the past,” David Buchwald, chair of the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council. “We believe that giving riders a choice in their commuting environment will make for a more pleasant traveling experience.”