MTA to add `quiet cars' to 10 MARC line trains

Three-month trial proved popular with commuters

April 12, 2003|By Stephen Kiehl | Stephen Kiehl,SUN STAFF

The Maryland Transit Administration will add "quiet cars" to 10 morning MARC trains starting Monday, after a three-month experiment with the concept proved highly popular with commuters.

On the MARC Penn Line, the early-morning trains 401 and 503 have had designated quiet cars since January. The rules are simple: No cell phones, no pagers, no children, and conversation must be hushed.

Starting Monday, each morning Penn Line train headed to Washington through the 8:10 a.m. departure will have a designated quiet car. They include trains 405, 507, 409, 511, 413 and 415.

Also, a quiet car will be added to Camden Line trains 841 and 843 and Brunswick Line trains 870 and 890 - the first two Washington-bound departures of the morning on those routes.

The quiet car is the last one on the train, which is the one closest to the locomotive on southbound lines.

"All the feedback we got was overwhelmingly in favor of expanding this," said Ira Silverman, chief transportation officer for MARC. "It's safe to say it is probably the single most popular thing we've done."

Silverman said MARC will consider expanding the program to afternoon trains if it continues to be well-received, but such a decision would probably not be made for at least several months. He said passengers have respected the rules of the quiet cars, and the only complaint has been a request for more of them because they are so crowded.

Meanwhile, MARC also announced yesterday that it will be making several slight schedule changes April 28 to trains on the Penn, Camden and Brunswick lines. New schedules can be found on the Web site, www.mtamaryland.com.

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