GO trains to test ‘Quiet Zone’ policy
By Kollin Lore
GO Transit may have a solution to the inescapable noise that follows many transit riders onto their buses.
Starting next Monday, the transit agency is testing quiet zones on the top level of most trains on the line that connects the city of Barrie with Union station.
It’s part of an attempt to satisfy passengers looking for tranquility on their rides.
This pilot project is in response to requests from customers who have asked for a quiet area.
Seats will be on a first come, first serve basis. Electronic devices such as cellphones and laptops must be muted and headphone volume levels kept low.
However, GO Transit warns there may not be complete silence because of announcements, and noise from other areas of the train seeping through.
Christopher Rouleau, a graphic designer in Toronto, sees the potential in the quiet zone.
“I think its worth testing out, any chance for us to turn off our electronics and to just relax in public spaces without the worry of people being loud and annoying,” he said.
Rouleau started the Toronto Etiquette Project in 2011, which involved creating a series of cards, available on his blogspot, that targets various violations of common courtesy.
One of Rouleau’s cards encourages transit riders on the TTC to not play loud music, over-perfume, and to take care of your litter, amongst other courtesies.
Though it would be nice, the graphic designer does not believe TTC can ever imitate the quiet zone experiment just because of the hustle and bustle of the city folk coming on and off the buses.
However, as far as Leanne Pepper is concerned, GO’s policy is a step in the right direction.
“It’s all about being aware of your surroundings, it doesn’t get you anywhere if you are rude and obnoxious,” said Pepper, a teacher of etiquette and protocol and the General Manager of the Faculty Club at U of T.
“[The quiet zone] will make it a lot more enjoyable for people; I think a lot of people will really appreciate that quiet time,” Pepper told Humber news reporter Cindy McKenney.
According to GO Transit’s website, people receiving important phone calls in the quiet zone should walk down to the mezzanine or lower level to answer it.
“If you would like to answer a call, exit the Quiet Zone (upper level) and answer the call in the mezzanine or lower level. Please remember to leave the Quiet Zone first before answering,” the GO website advises.
Also, riders are encouraged to help enforce the silence by “quietly and politely” asking anyone making noise to keep levels.
GO also suggests that “passengers may move to another car where it is quieter.”
Further policies on the quiet zone can be seen on their website