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Metro North Launching 'Quiet Car' Program

Commuters on the Waterbury rail line, which runs through Naugatuck, will be able to sit in a car in which talking and the usage of cell phone devices are prohibited.

Rail commuters, tired of hearing noisy cell phone chatter while taking your morning ride on the Metro North line? Well, the train company has a new car for you.

The “Quiet Car.”

Metro-North Railroad, a division of the New York-based Metropolitan Transit Authority, is launching a new Quiet Car pilot program for rail riders on its train line that runs from Grand Central Station to New Haven.

The same pilot will also be applied to the Waterbury train line, which includes Naugatuck and a number of other Valley towns on the same track, said Marjorie Anders, MTA spokesman.

Through the program, selection rush-hour trains will be offering a single car in which cell phone calls and loud conversations are prohibited, MTA said in a press release. The quiet cars will begin on a total of 18 a.m. and p.m. peak period trains for New Haven Line commuters.

“Quiet cars have enjoyed great popularity and success elsewhere in the Northeast and it’s time we brought them to Connecticut,” said Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker.

The train company said the program is voluntary in nature, meaning the commuters themselves will be self-monitoring the quiet cars. Rail riders are allowed converse, but they must do so using a subdued voice.

And if you aren’t compliant — meaning you’re making too much noise — then conductors will be handing you a “shh” card,” MTA said.

MTA also said announcements will be made informing and reminding customers of the location of the quiet car and its restrictions. Items prohibited in the cars will be cell phones, iPods, laptops and other devices, unless the device is used in a manner that it doesn’t make noise.

According to the release, new printed train timetables show a “Q” to designate the trains with a quiet car. The quiet car will be the last car for trains going to Grand Central Terminal in the morning and the first car for trains leaving Grand Central in the evening. 

“This program has been well received so far and we expect our Connecticut customers to enjoy the respite of this rush-hour only program,” said Metro-North President Howard Permut.

According to MTA, quiet cars have been catching on across the northeast. The New Jersey Transit company began the same program in the fall of 2010 and Metro-North has been adapting it to other programs in New York and Long Island. 

Guy Nize January 06, 2012 at 01:50 PM
I was just on an AMTRAK quiet car to Washington, and what a delight! Just once, some woman started talking on her cell phone and she was immediately informed by the guy in front of her gabbing on the cell phone was not allowed.

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