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Separate Train Cars for Cell Phone Users?
Don't Call Us, We'll Call You

Associated Press
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — It's back to Plan B for all who loved the idea of a separate railroad car for cell phone users.

"After closer scrutiny, the railroad decided it was impractical," Marjorie Anders, spokeswoman for the New York area commuter line Metro-North, said Thursday.

The railroad, which serves New York's northern suburbs, said Monday that it might designate separate cars for telephone talkers because of complaints that they were shouting into their phones, disturbing other riders' work, conversation or daydreams.

But even for the brief time the idea was under consideration, the railroad knew it faced formidable obstacles — free speech issues, overcrowding, accessibility for the handicapped.

And a phone company attorney sarcastically suggested separate cars for people with head colds, hair spray or cheap after-shave.

"It's just one of those things about modern society that we are going to have to adjust to," Anders said.

One woman complained to the railroad after finding herself surrounded by five people on cell phones. Another passenger resorted to turning on a tape recorder in front of a lawyer who was talking loudly to clients, telling the lawyer, "Your attorney-client privilege is no longer privileged."

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