Sssh: Some quiet news from the MBTA

NOTE: Post corrected to show the location of the car will be the one closest to the locomotive, which is only the first car in outbound trains.

The MBTA begins experimental rush-hour quiet-car service on the Franklin and Fitchburg lines on Monday. For the next three months, the car closest to the locomotive will be where be where cell phones go to die:

Customers using it will be asked to refrain from cell phone use; keep pagers, cell phones, laptop and PDA sounds off or to vibrate; and speak in whispers. Riders seated in a quiet car who need to use the phone will be asked to move to another car for the duration of their call. Conductors will make normal announcements during the trip. Conductors will be authorized to lift quiet car restrictions during any periods of service disruption or heavy passenger volume.

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    ...heavy passenger

    By on

    ...heavy passenger volume.

    Guess that rules it out during rush hour! So it'll stay noisy when it's noisy, and quiet when it's quiet?

    I predict these cars will

    I predict these cars will fill up fast and demand will be strong. If I still used the commuter rail, I'd be all over this.

    Now, how about a drunk car for the nitwits after Celtics and Bruins games? ;)

    Ha

    By on

    Nothing says "Quiet Car" like conductors walking up and down the aisles every stop yelling "TICKETS PLEASE. QUIET CAH HEAH. THIS IS THE QUIET CAH. TICKETS OUT."

    The first car, meaning the

    By on

    The first car, meaning the one closest to the engine? That diesel machine which makes a constant noise and an even louder one at every grade crossing? Brilliant!

    How about making the cab car quiet instead? I'm sure the engineers will appreciate it on inbound trips.

    Not always

    By on

    At least on the Providence line (and all lines from South Station?), the engine is always on the end of the train closest to Providence, so the first car would be the cab car inbound and the one behind the engine on outbound trips.

    When outbound, that first car is now sometimes the only one with much seating left by the time we get to Back Bay-- I bet that'll change! When inbound, the front car is among the most crowded already.

    Quiet is not about lack of

    By on

    Quiet is not about lack of sound, it's about a lack of DISRUPTIVE sounds.

    Aka

    "OMG, He did WHAAAAAAAAT? Noooooooooooo!"

    On the phone.

    Engine = white noise.

    One Question

    How does this work when the conductors only open one or two doors per stop?

    Standard MBCR practice is to assign

    By on

    one crew member to the doors where the two cars closest to the locomotive join, even when the train is short staffed. As the quiet car will be the car immediately behind the locomotive, then those folks will have direct access to an exit at all stations.

    Leave it to the MBTA to take a simple concept

    By on

    and turn it into a complicated "experiment" that benefits only a fraction of the passengers who expressed support for it.

    There is no valid reason why quiet cars cannot be introduced onto every train on every commuter rail line right now.