LIRR Conductor Tim Denehy annouces to passengers in the first...

LIRR Conductor Tim Denehy annouces to passengers in the first car of the 4:30pm train from Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal to Far Rockaway that the car is now a quiet car where folks should be mindful of their noise levels during their travels. (Dec. 5, 2011) Credit: Steven Sunshine

Bad news for rude LIRR cellphone gabbers: You'll soon have a few less people to annoy.

The Long Island Rail Road announced this week that it will expand its "quiet car" pilot program to include three more lines and, for the first time, some trains into and out of Penn Station.

The test program designates one car on an LIRR train as a quiet car, where cellphone conversations, sounds from electronic devices and loud talkers are frowned upon. The policy is self-enforced by passengers.

Since December, Brooklyn-bound morning trains on the Far Rockaway line included a quiet car. Beginning Monday, all morning and evening peak trains on the line will have one.

Brooklyn-bound morning trains on the Hempstead, Long Beach and West Hempstead branches will also participate in the program.

In the morning, the lead car on a train is designated as the quiet car. In the evening, it's the rear, or westernmost, car.

"It's had a lot of support. Some customers really do like it," LIRR president Helena Williams said of the program, which she said will get its biggest test when trains with quiet cars depart from Penn Station.

With many customers rushing to make it inside any car before a train pulls out, designating a particular car as "noise-free" may be particularly challenging, Williams said.

LIRR Commuter Council chairman Mark Epstein said his group has not taken a stance on the program but has raised several concerns that he said need to be addressed before the plan goes further.

They include: What happens if you're in a quiet car that doesn't platform at smaller stations? If you're trying to get into or away from a quiet car, will you get in trouble for walking between cars?

Epstein said he is waiting to hear back from the LIRR with answers.

Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick said quiet cars are a great idea.

The director and founder of Manhattan's New York School of Etiquette said mobile technology has grown by leaps and bounds -- and so have the opportunities for people to be rude.

"People don't use discretion. They don't use lower voices. They talk about things in public that should be quiet and should private," she said. "Unfortunately, it has come to this."

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