The Department of Transportation has agreed to relegate space on the middle deck of the Staten Island Ferry to become a designated “Quiet Zone.” The SI Advance says that the area will be a place where passengers can seek solace to “avoid loud cell phone conversations, general chatter and ferryboat preachers who seek a captive audience.” For now the Quiet Zones will be voluntary and self-policed, but City Councilman Ken Mitchell is drafting legislation for the DOT and NYPD to be able to enforce the new rules as well. Mitchell and State Senator Diane Savino pushed for the areas, similar to ones employed on Amtrak and LIRR trains, because Staten Islanders face the longest average commute in the nation. After a survey went out to Ferry riders asking about their commutes, Savino says, “Everyone of them said that they wanted some place to go on the boat where they could go and just contemplate their life.” The signs will be posted on the Bridge Deck of the three newest Molinari-class ferryboats; Savoy says she is brainstorming how to make the plan work for older ferry models as well.
Staten Islanders have some of the longest commutes in the United States, so a quiet place to just think, read or catch some sleep is valuable.
How noisy is your commute? Are people on their cell phones? Can you often hear someone’s music from their iPod? Mine is by bus and subway in NYC, so I deal with a lot of noisy cell phone talkers on the bus, but most people are quiet on the subway. However, the subway itself is noisy, sometimes unbearably so. Two not-so-noisy systems I’ve enjoyed are in Washington, DC and Atlanta. Is transit (the actual buses or trains) noisy where you are?