PATERSON, NJ - Starting June 1, rail riders who catch NJ Transit trains at Paterson Station will be able to ride on "quiet commute cars."
Quiet Commute cars are intended to provide a subdued environment for customers who wish to refrain from using cell phones and are willing to disable the sound feature on pagers, games, computers and other electronic devices. Conversations should be conducted in subdued voices, and headphones should be used at a volume that cannot be heard by other passengers.
Conductors inform customers of Quiet Commute expectations by using specially designed business cards that explain the program in English and Spanish. The cards, first used by SEPTA in their own Quiet Car program, are intended to gently remind customers of their location without disturbing others on the car.
The agency will add Quiet Commute cars to all peak-period, peak- direction trains that begin or end their trips at Hoboken Terminal. Quiet Commute cars will be offered on trains that arrive in Hoboken between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., and trains that depart Hoboken between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. This will expand the program to include the Pascack Valley, Main, Bergen County and Port Jervis lines, as well as additional trains on the Morris & Essex and Montclair-Boonton lines.
The designated Quiet Commute car will be the first car on peak-period trains traveling into Hoboken, and the last car on trains departing Hoboken, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.
“As NJ TRANSIT gets ready to roll out the final phase of the Quiet Commute program, I’d like to thank our customers and employees for their invaluable feedback during the initial pilot program and subsequent expansion earlier this year,” said Weinstein. “Quiet Commute has received a very positive response so far, and we look forward to hearing from customers on our remaining lines who will soon be able to experience Quiet Commute for themselves.”
“Metro-North is pleased to be partnering with NJ TRANSIT on its Quiet Commute program to include the rush-hour only ‘quiet car’ concept on the Port Jervis and Pascack Valley trains,” said Metro-North President Howard Permut. “We have been monitoring this program in New Jersey and if the idea is well received by commuters in Orange and Rockland counties, we may initiate it on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven Lines.”
Existing Quiet Commute cars on the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast, Midtown Direct and Raritan Valley lines will remain designated as the first and last cars. (Because peak periods are not defined on the Atlantic City Rail Line, Quiet Commute is not being offered.)
On September 7, 2010, NJ TRANSIT launched the Quiet Commute program on its busiest trains— “3900-series” Northeast Corridor trains that operate express to and from Trenton, Hamilton and Princeton Junction—to test the feasibility of offering the amenity on its rail system. The 3900-series was selected for the pilot because the trains’ relatively long trip times and regularly high ridership provide an ideal testing environment.
After receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers, NJ TRANSIT expanded the program starting January 3 to include all peak-period, peak-direction trains that begin or end their trips at New York Penn Station or Newark Penn Station. This significantly expanded the program to include the Midtown Direct, North Jersey Coast and Raritan Valley lines, as well as additional Northeast Corridor trains.
NJ TRANSIT is now the largest transit agency in the nation to offer a Quiet Commute option. Other transit agencies that currently offer “Quiet Cars” include SEPTA, Virginia Railway Express (VRE), MARC (Maryland), Altamont Commuter Express (California) and the Capital Corridor (California).
The idea of offering a Quiet Commute program has consistently ranked high among NJ TRANSIT customer suggestions.
The Quiet Car concept was born in late 1999 when a small group of regular Amtrak commuters asked their conductor if one car of their early morning Philadelphia-Washington train could be designated as “cell phone-free.” The conductor agreed and Amtrak quickly expanded the concept. Within months, most weekday Amtrak trains on the Northeast Corridor featured Quiet Cars.