CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. Local commuters who ride MTA Metro-North trains will soon be able to get to and from work in almost complete silence. The MTA recently announced its "Quiet CALMmute" cars. About 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, and is already being anticipated by some commuters. I think the installation of quiet cars on commuter trains is a great idea, said Kristen Begley, 21. Often times I have been distracted while trying to read a newspaper or a book or trying to do some work on the train by people having lengthy, loud conversations on their cell phones or just loud conversations with the person sitting next to them. Marjorie Anders, spokesperson for the MTA, said that commuters have wanted a quiet space to ride, and that previous success with other trains led to the idea. "The railroad has been watching Amtrak's very successful implementation of quiet cars," said Anders. "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 as 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. Those violating the rules will be handed "Shhhhhh" cards by conductors that explain the etiquette for the quiet cars in both English and Spanish. 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."
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