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MNRR Survey Confirms Cell-Phone Problems

 

 

RAIL  COMMUTERS  STILL  BOTHERED 

BY  CELL-PHONE  ABUSE

 

(New York City  -  June 19, 2000):    The latest customer satisfaction survey from Metro-North, presented today to the Metro-North Board, shows that commuters are fed up with intrusive cell phone conversations during their rides on the rails.

 

Responding last year to the CT Rail Commuter Council’s idea of a designated cell-phone-free “Quiet Car” on each train, Metro-North agreed to survey riders on the issue, testing the effectiveness of it six month Courtesy Campaign.  (see attached statistics)

 

“The survey results confirm our suspicions,” said Jim Cameron, Vice Chairman of the Commuter Council and chief proponent on the Quiet Car idea.  “The survey shows that  87% of respondents are ‘bothered’ by cell-phone calls some, most or all of the time.  Its clear that Metro-North’s not doing enough to deal with this problem.”

 

A majority of commuters (76%) said they carry cell-phones and 90% admit to using them.  But most riders (62%) said they keep their calls brief and discreet.

 

“I don’t think it’s the cell phone caller who makes a quick call who’s the problem,” says Cameron.  “A quick… “Hi Honey, I’m on the 7:05 and will be home soon” isn’t the issue.  The real problem is the 5% of riders who talk for five minutes or more, in a loud voice and are inconsiderate of their fellow riders.”

 

Unfortunately, the Commuter Council’s call for a cell-phone-free “Quiet Car” was not specifically tested in this survey.  “While only 27% of riders said they supported limiting cell phones to certain cars, what we’re proposing is the opposite,” said Council Chairman Rodney Chabot. “We’re not asking to segregate cell phone users… we want to isolate those seeking silence!  The Metro-North survey asked about designated “Noisy Cars” but we’re proposing only a single Quiet Car.”   Cameron notes that Quiet Cars have been immensely successful on Amtrak and European trains.  “Given time, this problem will only get worse and the idea of a Quiet Car will win out I’m sure,” said Cameron.

 

For more information on the Commuter Council and the Quiet Car campaign, visit the Council’s website at:  www.trainweb.org/ct

 

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Metro-North Customer Satisfaction Survey  -  1st Quarter

 

PERCENT OF CUSTOMERS WITH CELLULAR PHONES

·       76% of customers carry a cellular phone with them.

·       24% do not.

 

FREQUENCY OF USE TO SEND OR RECEIVE CALLS ON THE TRAIN

         (Definitions were supplied by MNR on the questionnaire)

·       10% Never

·       55% Occasionally  (for emergencies or at most once a week)

·       29% Moderately (more than once a week, but less         than once every trip)

·       6% Frequently (one or more calls per trip)

 

LENGTH OF CALLS MADE OR RECEIVED :

(Definitions were supplied by MNR on the questionnaire)

·       62% Brief (Under 1 minute)

·       33% Moderate (1-3 minutes)

·        5% Long ( 4 minutes or more)

 

TYPE OF CALLS PHONE USUALLY USED FOR:

·       65% Family-related

·       57% Business-related

·       43% Emergency

·       28% Social/recreational

·        3% Other

 

IF ONBOARD PHONE USE BOTHERS CUSTOMERS

·       13% never bothered

·       55% sometimes bothered

·       20% bothered most of the time

·       12% bothered all of the time

 

QUESTION:  DO YOU THINK METRO-NORTH SHOULD:  (CHOOSE ONE OR MORE)

 

                                                                                          % NO

Options                                                % YES   % NO ANSWER

 

Continue to educate riders

   on considerate usage                            81%      4%      15%

 

Limit cell phone use to door areas             34%     35%     31%

 

Limit cell phone use to designated cars      27%     41%     32%

 

Prohibit cell phone use on trains                 6%      56%     38%

 

Do nothing                                             10%     39%     51%

 

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