Saturday, December 03, 2005

New metro station name recordings: a good thing

Photo courtesy of MetroDeMontreal.com Web sitePhoto courtesy of MetroDeMontreal.com Web siteOn my way home Friday on the Orange metro line, I rode in one of the older MR-63 metro cars (see bottom photo). Those are the ones with the speckled off-white seats that are (almost) exclusively used on the Green line.

The transit authority only recently added an automated station announcement recording to the older MR-63s. Years ago, the driver would announce the station. Or not, depending on his level of hatred for his employer/his passengers/his life in general. It was always fun to hear how the driver would pronounce names like Atwater or McGill.

To recap: I'm riding on the Orange line, but in a "Green line" metro car. It was weird. Like that time David Banner half-changed into the Incredible Hulk and we got to see Lou Ferrigno without the green skin. Or was it Bill Bixby with green skin. I forget. Anyway, who cares.

I found a seat and began experiencing the weirdness. The lighting is different on the MR-63s. The door openings and closings sound different. But the most noticeable difference is the PA system. Surprisingly, the older MR-63 metro cars have a better, clearer PA system. Also, the station name announcements are said more slowly. Same narrator, I think. But slower.

(Editor's note: If you are still reading this, thanks. I'm boring myself writing it.)

It was what happened before the Lucien l'Allier station that shocked me. The recorded name for this station name pierces my ears at the first "U" in Lucien on
the regular MR-73 metro cars. Every day, I brace myself for inevitable "L-UUUUUUU-cien..." redlining. But on this day, my ear drums got a rest.

The new recorded station name flew into my ear with the care and gentleness I have not seen since the passing of The Joy of Painting's Bob Ross. It was a beautiful thing.

Bottom line: The Montreal transit authority should use the new recording in the MR-73 metro cars.

1 comment:

crammer said...

wow. the most exciting part about this is the link to the STM metro FAQ. thank you.

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