Hate when people next to you are talking on their phones or conversing loudly with their fellow passengers? If so, and you live in Massachusetts, you’re in luck.
The MBTA, Massachusett’s public transport system, started a new pilot program in which there will be a designated ‘Quiet Car’ on the Franklin and Fitchburg commuter rail lines during peak times. This program, launched in response to results of a recent survey of customers, began on January 3rd and will run until April 3rd, just 90 days. Afterwards, the MBTA will decide whether to continue the initiative or not on a regular basis.
On the MBTA’s homepage information about the Quiet Car is provided, such as the fact that the Quiet Car will be the car located closest to the locomotive. Tips as to what is appropriate and what is not on the designated Quiet Cars are offered as well. “[On the Quiet Car] Customers are asked to: refrain from cell phone use; keep pagers, cell phones, laptop and PDA sounds off; and speak quietly. Conductors will, of course, lift the quiet car restriction in times of disruption or severe overcrowding.”
I feel like this is a good experiment for the MBTA to try, and I’m happy they’re responding to their clients’ concerns. Although I don’t think I would prefer to sit in a Quiet Car, everyone has had the experience of someone close to them talking obnoxiously loud, and so this is a nice alternative for those who are especially sensitive about volume. In addition, it can make those long, awkward train rides with semi-acquaintances less so, since now you have a REASON not to talk.
Don’t worry though, if you need to talk while on the Quiet Car you can; whispering is aloud as long as it’s brief.