Pulse: Pursuits: 60-Second critic: SEPTA’s Quiet Ride

Grade: D

When SEPTA announced a new “Quiet Ride” program in April — banning cell-phone use and talking above a whisper on the first cars of most rush-hour rail trains — readers and deep thinkers (silently) rejoiced. Alas, things haven’t gone quietly. Save for small stickers behind the doors of designated cars, no signs indicate the “no noise” edict, and many conductors appear blasé about shushing chatty offenders, leaving stewing riders to confront yakkers. SEPTA flack Richard Maloney admits enforcing the rule is difficult: “I don’t have an answer,” he says. We do: Drive.

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  • Jerri

    Oh Michael…….. What did you really expect? That every person on every QuietRide car would willingly abide by the rules? Just like every driver dutifully obeys the posted speed limit? Systemwide, compliance has really been pretty good. Of the folks that have responded to our most recent website survey about QuietRide, 73% of them said that the program has met or exceeded their expectations. There is no doubt that we are on a learning curve with the program and I am confident that the favorable rating will improve. As of today, we have added new, larger QuietRide decals to 35 railcars. The entire fleet will be completely re-decaled by mid-summer. We think that this will help educate riders, especially the occasional riders. We will also be handing out reminder cards later this month to customers in the first cars. The cards will also invite people to visit our website to rate the program and share their observations. While the program has had some rough spots, the environ

  • Jerri

    the environment in the majority of QuietRide cars is very positive, and many of our customers have expressed their appreciation. In fact, even those that have not always had the QuietRide that they have hoped for have still offered their thanks and support. Some people were simply impressed that we actually had the……guts, to try the program, knowing that changing long engrained behavior would not be easy, or readily accepted by some. I think that many of our customers, including the hundreds that have joined us since this year, realize that the convenience of taking public transit is better than driving. And, for those that value their time, being able to relax, read, meditate or snooze are things that they cannot do while pounding the Schuylkill at rush hour….at least not safely or legally. Messing with a person's constitutional right to own and use a cell phone at any time and any place is risky business. Hey, at least we listened to what our customers said they wanted. W

  • Jerri

    Hey, at least we listened to what our customers said they wanted. We're trying. And no other urban rail transit system has yet to follow suit. K S HeinleAssistant General Manager – Customer Service & Advocacy