NEW YORK (Reuters) - A pair of initiatives designed to bring more peace and quiet to taxis, buses and trains moving in and about New York City have been set in motion, promising to boost the supply of a scarce commodity in the metropolitan area - silence.
New Jersey Transit, which operates commuter bus and train service to and from New York City, kicked off a campaign on Wednesday to stop loud phone conversations on its system by distributing postcards featuring a caricature of a woman gabbing loudly on her cellphone.
“Keep it down, because it is just not that interesting,” the caption reads.
The agency also posted the message on Facebook, Twitter and other social media urging riders to stay out of the “Rude Zone,” reminding them that “we’re all in this together.”
Meanwhile, New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission is considering a pilot program that could eliminate Taxi TV, a service that brings movie reviews, Broadway show ads and the like to yellow-cab riders.
Complaints about the screens, which double as credit card payment systems in the city’s fleet of 13,500 yellow taxis, were among the factors that prompted the proposed change, said Allan Fromberg, the TLC’s deputy commissioner for public affairs.
“There have been some complaints that the mute button or the off button were not functioning,” Fromberg said.
NJ Transit has begun running designated quiet cars on most trains lines all day long, after offering the popular feature only during rush hour in the past.
“Customers value their quiet time,” NJ Transit spokesman Jim Smith said, noting the new courtesy campaign was sparked by noise complaints and other grievances.
“It’s the chance to decompress after work, or get ready for the day by having a peaceful moment before the hectic day starts,” Smith said.
Many NJ Transit customers took to social media to cheer the campaign, though not everyone was happy that it came on the heels of a fare hike that went into effect this month.
“@NJTRANSIT spent time and $ on these #rudezone cards. I’m (internally) screaming in the quiet car,” tweeted @annemarieconte.
Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Eric Beech