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Patco To Make Permanent Its Rush Hour 'Quiet Cars'

By Mark Abrams

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) -- Patco is ending its nearly year-long experiment with quiet cars.  They'll become a permanent part of all rush-hour trains starting January 2nd.

Patco's Tim Ireland says the riders have spoken, and the rail operator listened.

"Everybody seemed to support the idea of a 'quiet car,' and they liked the idea of a place where they could go to not have to put up with the noise associated with most commutes," Ireland tells KYW Newsradio.

So, effective next Wednesday, Patco commuters can look for the quiet cars on all trains operating between 6am and 9am, and from 4pm to 7pm.

"Quiet car" passengers are expected to limit cell phone use to texting and silent games, keep conversations brief and at a whisper, and use headphones kept at low volume if playing music from an electronic device.

Ireland says riders also were instrumental during the experimental phase in suggesting that one thing go away:

"They said if you want to have a quiet car, why do you have an announcement at every stop saying that the car is quiet?  Why not just keep the car quiet by not having a public address announcement?"

Signs are posted inside the quiet car and at stations, telling riders the last car of each train is the designated quiet car and the hours that the "quiet time" is in effect.

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