Metrolink designates “quiet cars” on weekday trains beginning Oct. 3

A nice piece of awesomeness from the Metrolink folks, who clearly don’t want to have to listen to someone else’s terrible taste in music. Here’s the news release:

Shhh! Keep it down – I’m busy enjoying my noise free commute

Los Angeles – Beginning Oct. 3, a passenger car on every weekday Metrolink train will be designated as a quiet car to ensure peace and quiet for the passengers that prefer an almost noiseless commute. No loud talking or cell phones, smart phones or electronic devices that can be heard by others will be allowed on quiet cars.

“Our new quiet cars will make the commute on Metrolink trains even more enjoyable for those, like myself, who prefer a more peaceful commute,” said Metrolink Board Chairman Richard Katz. “Some of our passengers prefer to socialize or do business on the train. We encourage that – just not on the new quiet cars.”

There is no additional charge to ride in a quiet car. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Passengers should be mindful of the limited availability of quiet car seating and place belongings below their seat or in their laps to allow as many passengers as possible to take advantage of the new option.

The second car away from the locomotive on each train set will be designated as the quiet car. Conductors and Metrolink customer service representatives can help passengers locate the quiet cars.

“This is one more way Metrolink is working to add value to our passengers. We offer a safe, reliable, convenient service that allows our passengers to save up to $10,000 annually,” said Metrolink CEO John Fenton.

In May, Metrolink launched express trains. In July, Metrolink launched trains with additional space for bicycles. Quiet cars are the next service enhancement meant to take the customer experience to the next level.

For more information on Metrolink, please visit


Metrolink is Southern California’s regional commuter rail service in its 19th year of operations. The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), a joint powers authority made up of an 11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, governs the service. Metrolink operates over seven routes through a six-county, 512 route-mile network.

15 replies

  1. The better thing to do would be to fill out the Customer Complaint Form every time the Transit TV is too loud, writing down the bus number. Spike up the customer complaint numbers, because apparently polls show that the majority riders actually LIKE the thing (I don’t know why).

  2. Thank you! I really appreciate that, and hope that something can get done about this. I know Metro gets money from it, and in this economy every dollar helps, but there must be a way to come to a compromise that takes into account the needs of passengers and bus operators.

    – Wenda

  3. Dear Mr. Hymon,

    Respectfully, I have to wonder if you have ever ridden an MTA bus recently. Do you think in nearly four years of riding Metro and putting up with these blaring TV’s, that I have never thought to simply ask the bus driver to turn it down?

    I have. And on EVERY SINGLE occasion when I have asked a bus driver to turn the volume down, they have told me that they have no control over it. One driver even showed me the control keypad behind his seat, and I watched in disbelief as he and another Metro employee (whom I believe was a supervisor) messed around with it for five minutes trying to turn it down–to no avail.

    He told me also, that during his training, he could not hear what his instructor was telling him, because the Transit TV was too loud, and could not be turned down or shut off. That sounds like a safety issue to me.

    On one occasion, late at night on the Orange Line, when it was up so loud as to hurt my ears, another passenger asked the driver to turn it down, and got told that the drivers do not get to control the volume. Said passenger got OFF THE BUS and waited for the next one to save her ears. I, having had connections to make to get home before my local line stopped running, did not have that luxury.

    I’m sorry, Mr. Hymon, but the way this system is implemented is intrusive, obnoxious, and has no regard for the needs of passengers or bus operators.

    The sound is just noise–I am never able to follow what anybody is saying on the TV because it is loud, distorted, tinny, constantly wildly fluctuating in volume between barely audible and deafening, and constantly being interrupted by the stop announcements. PLEASE consider implementing a closed captioning system, and giving your patrons and employees a little bit of blessed relief.

    Thank you,

    • Hi Wenda;

      I wasn’t defending Transit TV — just repeating what Metro staff have told me that it can be turned down by the operator. I really appreciate you sending me this — good to know. I am going to pass it along to both our marketing and customer relations departments, along with your email address.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  4. +1 on Wenda’s idea of turning off the noise on the Transit TV. Metro obviously understands that the rich people on Metrolink would like a little peace and quiet during their commute; they also need to understand that the poor people on Metro buses have the same needs.

  5. Dear Metrolink, this is a great idea that has long been needed. Thank you! I have been a regular Ventura line monthly passholder since June, 2000. I like to snooze on the way to work, and a quiet car would be grand.

    Now, in order to make this quiet car truly quiet, the PA system should be muted so that passengers are not verbally plagued by station stop & other repetitive announcements every few minutes. I estimate that at least 9 out of 10 Metrolink riders are regular, daily commuters, and as such we know when our station stops are coming up, and of course we know to “keep our personal belongings with us at all times”. We do not need to be reminded of this every 10 minutes.

    Thanks again for designating a quiet car; I predice it will be a huge success!

  6. No, Ed, quiet buses wouldn’t be easy to enforce, but Metro could take one giant step to make them quietER by turning off the blasting audio from the TV’s!

  7. leon: you obviously haven’t taken Metrolink trains all that much. Feet off the seats, catching fare beaters have been and are enforced today. The conductors will enforce, then the other passengers on the quiet care may become an unruly mob ready to ponce on the offender if they don’t cooperate with the conductor. But, in the end, if someone won’t cooperate with the conductor, I’ve seen Sheriff’s deputies waiting for those folks at LAUPT and they are at least detained and often cited. Also, the suburban crowd on Metrolink really are a bit more civilized than the rabble on MTA trains and buses :).

  8. Wish quiet cars will be available on Metro Rail. Please Metro, do this!

    Now if we can have quiet buses… though that won’t be easy to enforce.

  9. Now if Metro could take one tiny step in the right direction and turn off the blaring, obnoxious sound blasting from the Transit TV’s on buses. Some of us spend up to 6 hours on buses round trip EVERY DAY, and often the sound is up so loud as to be painful, and automatically gets EVEN LOUDER when the bus driver steps on the gas.

    I understand that Metro gets revenue from the Transit TV company and doesn’t want to give that up, but there has to be a compromise! What about putting captions on the screen and muting the sound?

    Buses are noisy and stressful enough as it is, and the noise from the TV’s make it almost unbearable. If anyone from Metro reads this, PLEASE have some mercy on your patrons, and allow us some peace in our commutes as well. Turn the sound off.

    Thank you.

  10. Something like this would never work on the Metro Rail Lines – because it wouldn’t be enforced.

  11. I think you should modify the plan a little. No reason to reward inconsiderate people who feel they are entitled.

    How about making ONE car for folks that want to make noise, the last car in any train?

  12. Please…please…please add this to the Metro Blue Line. Many of us (including myself) have a lengthy daily commute filled w/ blaring music from cell phones, PDAs, screaming kids, DVD vendors, etc. This is a huge step for commuters and greatly appreciated. Thank you