GO Transit may have a solution for riders who are tired of overhearing cellphone conversations, music blasting through headphones or the noise of tablet games.

Starting Feb. 11, the agency is testing designated quiet zones on most trains on the Barrie line in an attempt to create a “comfortable” experience for passengers who prefer silence.

GO Transit launched the pilot project after requests from customers who are seeking some peace and quiet.

Electronics such as cellphones, tablets or laptop computers must be muted and headphone volume must be low in the quiet zones, which are located on the top level of every coach on most Barrie line trains. Stairwells are included in the noise-free area.

Seats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, but the quiet zone may not always be completely quiet, GO Transit warns. Announcements will still be made and noise from other areas of the train may still be heard.

Quiet zones may be temporarily suspended during delays or bad weather.

If someone is making noise in a quiet zone, passengers should “quietly and politely” ask the person to keep noise levels down, or move to another coach where there is less noise, GO Transit says.

If someone needs to make a cellphone call, they should leave the quiet zone and make the call in the mezzanine or lower level, and make sure the headphone volume is low so others cannot hear it, the agency says.

Quiet zones are in effect on Barrie line trips except for the southbound (808) 7:22 a.m. trip from Barrie and the northbound (807) 5:35 p.m. trip from Union Station.

Because the zones are located on upper levels, they are not accessible to all passengers. GO Transit wants to hear from people who have mobility issues to figure out how they can be included.

“One of the pilot’s goals is to understand how the quiet zone can be offered to all passengers,” the agency says.

Designated carpool parking

Meanwhile, GO Transit is celebrating Carpool Week by adding designated carpool parking spots to its Oshawa, Rouge Hill and Mimico stations.

Free carpool parking is already available at Oakville, East Gwillimbury, Burlington, Whitby, Clarkson, Long Branch and Port Credit stations.

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