Small ideas can make Metro greater.

Kojo on Metro: Recorded rail announcements by local personalities

Providing a real human voice is vital to providing a friendly and comfortable transit experience. With our new Metro cars, we've gone to automated announcements (which is fine), but lost the real human voice (which leaves the system feeling dull, sterile, and not original); we need to record a great voice that can become known as our region's transit voice. I think it would be great to feature none other than Kojo Nnamdi!

Photo by Ted Eytan on Flickr.

More background on transit voices here:

Almost everybody in DC knows who Kojo Nnamdi is. His unique elocution is well known, and would add an elegant touch to our Metro system. Once recorded, the automated announcements could be used forever.

This could also be done by a contest or using local celebrities (David Chang, Jonathan Banks, John Wall, Bryce Harper, Kirk Cousins, etc...?). And additionally, special one day recordings by these celebrities or other locals could be instituted to add flavor to a particular day or to raise money for charity causes.

Submitted by: Ryan W., Washington, DC


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This is a fine idea, but what's with the suggested celebrities?! DC's also home or hometown to women. I'd suggest mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, Michelle/Sasha/Malia Obama, and any one of our world-famous soccer players.

by DC mama on Aug 11, 2016 3:44 pm • linkreport

Will this actually help get people to move to the center of the cars?

If not, then why waste precious dollars for butter crème frosting on a pile of poop. We already have recordings and computer generated announcements.

by Mark H on Aug 12, 2016 9:58 am • linkreport

The new railcars should eliminate all of its automated announcements altogether, except for "Doors opening" and "Doors closing." The conductor of the trains should be responsible for all announcements as they are in all of the other railcars.

by Patrick McLeod on Aug 19, 2016 3:39 pm • linkreport

Talk about arranging deck chairs on the Titanic! How in the world will this make Metro better? The automated announcements need to be well-enunciated, clear, and easy to understand. Local celebrities don't necessarily meet that criteria.

This idea reminds me of the stuff Amplify sends out: "How do you like the new uniforms our station managers now wear?" My answer: "They don't need new uniforms, they need a new attitude and better training!"

by Dairy Maid on Aug 25, 2016 11:20 am • linkreport

I suggested this very thing in a Greater Greater Post!

It STILL gets my vote.

by Tracey A. Johnstone on Aug 25, 2016 12:33 pm • linkreport

I know that the conductors are very busy and have to concentrate on safely operating the trains, but I have been on some trains where the conductor was very personable with his announcements and it made the ride more bearable. I know it's just a little thing, but a little bit of friendliness never hurts.

by Susan on Aug 26, 2016 3:20 pm • linkreport

Good concept, but it needs more Ovechkin!

by UpConn on Aug 26, 2016 8:24 pm • linkreport

Bad concept. No matter which local "celebrity" is chosen -- even if it's Kojo Nnamdi -- one or more constituency in the region will dislike and/or feel unrepresented by him/her and will raise a ruckus about it with Metro, local policymakers, etc. For instance, local professional athletes don't in any way represent me or what I think is best about the DMV, and I would be pissed if one were chosen to voice the announcements. No one, least of all Metro, has the resources to mediate the debate this would raise. Steer clear of this idea!

by Agnieszka on Aug 26, 2016 11:58 pm • linkreport

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