The Noisy, Quiet Car From/To Jersey

Can you talk to a fellow passenger, quietly, in the New Jersey Transit quiet car? On Jan. 3, NJ Transit designated the first and last cars on many peak hour trains 'quiet' - no cell phones and other restrictions, but arguments have erupted.

A passenger yells at the conductor for allowing some passengers to speak quietly together. Another passenger asks that all train announcements be turned off.

"Quiet cars were introduced in September as part of a three-month pilot program on 29 express trains running between Trenton and Manhattan. (Amtrak began using quiet cars in 1999.) The quiet cars are now on all New Jersey Transit weekday trains arriving in New York between 6 and 10 a.m. and departing New York between 4 and 8 p.m.

Dan Stessel, a spokesman for New Jersey Transit, said that he had not received any customer complaints and that "the overall response across the board, as it relates to quiet commuting, has been overwhelmingly positive."

However, the reporter notes that "a yearning for quiet has sparked an inevitable war of very loud words. The quiet cars have now become some of the noisiest, as passengers trying to read or sleep are constantly hushing and shushing others."

Full Story: On Train, a Fight Between Silent and Merely Quie

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