Beginning in September, certain Northeast Corridor NJ Transit trains will have "quiet cars"—the first and last cars of the train—as part of a 90-day pilot program to see if offering some people sanctuary from their fellow riders' cell phone yakking is worth the effort. Officials are confident; executive director Jim Weinstein told the Star-Ledger, "It’s one of the things people ask for most often. We expect it to be very popular."
According to the Star-Ledger, "Passengers on the library-quiet cars will be prohibited from using cell phones and must disable sound features on pagers, games, computers and other electronic devices. Conversations must be conducted in subdued voices and headphones used at a volume that cannot be heard by other passengers." To explain the program, conductors will be handing out business cards that say, "On behalf of our customers, we ask that you lower your voices and set all electronic devices on vibrate when entering the first and last cars on our 3900 series (express) trains between Trenton and New York" on the back. On the front of the card? The universal sign for shutting your mouth—an image of a finger in front of someone's mouth.
If the program is successful, it'll be rolled out to other train lines. NJ Transit would be the first mass transit agency in the tri-state area to have quiet cars—the LIRR might want to take note, lest any more etiquette vigilantes emerge.