As I’ve mentioned in the past, nothing grates on me more while riding the train than being subjected to another person’s else’s music. I don’t want to hear the strains of Ke$ha or the latest offering from Eminem leaking out of someone’s cheap headphones while they’re sitting 15 feet away from me, and yet, I find this happens more than not in today’s age of iPods and iPhones.
For years, Amtrak has known that the best way to approach this scourge is by designating certain sections of their trains as the “quiet cars,” and now New Jersey Transit is going to pilot a similar program in the express trains that run from Trenton to New York City. Mike Frassinelli from The Star Ledger has more:
The 90-day pilot program will apply to the first and last cars of Northeast Corridor express trains on the line that runs between New York Penn Station and Trenton. If the pilot program is successful, NJ Transit could expand it to its other rail lines and beyond express routes, agency spokesman Dan Stessel said.
Passengers on the library-quiet cars will be prohibited from using cell phones and must disable sound features on pagers, games, computers and other electronic devices. Conversations must be conducted in subdued voices and headphones used at a volume that cannot be heard by other passengers.
NJ Transit will be the largest transit agency in the nation and only one in the metropolitan region to offer the amenity, NJ Transit executive director Jim Weinstein said. “It’s one of the things people ask for most often,” he said. “We expect it to be very popular.”
To inform riders of the new quiet cars, NJ Transit conductors will be handing out business cards alerting them to the upcoming change. One regular rider predicted great popularity as commuters look for some serenity on their rides home. “I believe the quiet car idea is a great concept, as many regular commuters want to enjoy some quiet time in their morning trips and also when returning after a long day at work,” John W. Nabial said. “The only downside I predict is that seating on those cars will be in great demand. Perhaps, after the initial introduction, NJ Transit may need to expand the number of cars designated as quiet cars.”
People, you see, just want some quiet as they travel. No one wants to hear other people’s noises after a long day at work or school. While an impractical solution for New York City’s packed subway system, the quiet cars should make for a better ride through New Jersey.