PELHAM, N.Y. Passengers on certain Metro North trains will soon be able to ride in almost complete silence.
The MTA recently announced its "Quiet CALMmute" cars. Approximately 31 trains on the Hudson and Harlem lines will have designated quiet cars on some trains during peak hours. The schedule will designate such trains with a "Q."
The pilot program begins on Oct. 17.
Marjorie Anders, spokesperson for the MTA, said commuters have wanted a quiet space to ride, and that previous success for other trains led to the idea.
"The railroad has been watching Amtrak's very successful implementation of quiet cars," Anders said. "Then Metro North did its own pilot west of Hudson. It just seems like the march of progress to begin east of Hudson."
The last car on the designated trains will become a quiet car during the morning peak hours, while the first car will be designated a quiet car during the evening peak hours.
The MTA encourages passengers on these cars to not use their cell phones and to silence their computers and other electronic devices. Riders should also speak quietly and lower the volume on their headphones so other passengers cannot hear the sounds or music.
Conductors on these trains will distribute as needed special "Shhhhhh" cards that explain the guidelines for the quiet cars in both English and Spanish.
Angel Cruz, a three-year Mount Vernon resident who takes the train from the Pelham station each day to work in New York City, approves of the idea and thinks it will be successful.
"People want to be quiet," Cruz said about commuters on the train. "People that want to go to the back and be quiet, I don't see why not."
Long Island City resident Sheldon Curtis waited on a bench next to Cruz on Wednesday afternoon for the train to arrive. He had a dental appointment in Pelham earlier in the day but said he does not often ride the train from that station.
Curtis does take the Metro-North to Larchmont to visit his family and is in favor of the new program.
"As an option, who can object?" Curtis said.
Anders said the quiet cars could also expand to the New Haven Line at a later date.
"Connecticut is watching what happens in New York," Anders said. "I know that they're actively considering it. It just hasn't happened yet."
Contact Pelham reporter Andrew Meola at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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