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New Automated TTC service disruption announcements

PL1

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#1
I've noticed in the past couple of weeks that the TTC is often using what sounds like an automated announcement system to report longer-term delays. It uses a computer-synthesis male voice. I first noticed it because it pronounces Spadina (Y-U-S line) "Spa-dee-na" (as in Spadina House) rather than "Spa-dye-na".

This is a good idea in that it can repeat the message relatively frequently without continuous work by someone at Transit Control. Does anyone know if this is a permanent addition, or are they testing this?
 

joeclark

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#2
It’s using the Alex voice from Mac OS X VoiceOver, which is rather unexpected, given that hitherto the sole Macintosh in the organization was Giambrone’s.

You can’t possible expect TTC to get anything right that involves the written word, in this case scripts for text-to-speech.
 

lafard

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#3
There are stll trains that still say "summerhill" as two words and "glen caren". You can schedule this "spadeena" rectification for some time in 2016.

By the way, Spa dee nah is apparently a correct pronunciation of Spadina Rd, north of Bloor where the station lies, it is not technically incorrect, though I live at St Clair and Spadina and have never heard it used that way for the road.
 

erikyow

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#4
There are stll trains that still say "summerhill" as two words and "glen caren". You can schedule this "spadeena" rectification for some time in 2016.

By the way, Spa dee nah is apparently a correct pronunciation of Spadina Rd, north of Bloor where the station lies, it is not technically incorrect, though I live at St Clair and Spadina and have never heard it used that way for the road.
Yes, but that's because the woman who was assigned/volunteered (not hired, since she's already a TTC employee) to do the subway announcements - the woman who did the streetcar and bus announcements was on maternity leave - is over-annunciating. I understand the idea is to have clear, easy-to-comprehend announcements, especially for those not familiar with the system or who don't have English as a first language, but sometimes it gets on my nerves; like the additional syllable in Glencairn or Bloor, which becomes "blew-er". This "spa-DEE-na" issue may never be solved unless they have someone do the voice recordings.
 

Tuscani01

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#5
Yes, but that's because the woman who was assigned/volunteered (not hired, since she's already a TTC employee) to do the subway announcements - the woman who did the streetcar and bus announcements was on maternity leave - is over-annunciating. I understand the idea is to have clear, easy-to-comprehend announcements, especially for those not familiar with the system or who don't have English as a first language, but sometimes it gets on my nerves; like the additional syllable in Glencairn or Bloor, which becomes "blew-er". This "spa-DEE-na" issue may never be solved unless they have someone do the voice recordings.
Or they can try spelling it Spa-Dye-Na
 

EnviroTO

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#6
The announcements seem clearer using the automated system in the station. I haven't heard them on the subway cars themselves to see if there is any difference.
 

adma

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#8
I wish that Ron Lundy DJ-sounding guy (buh-LOO'er) did the station calls...
 

chriskayTO

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#9
I think the automated announcements - flawed as they are - are miles better than the typical voices used. I remember a few weeks back listening to the announcement about the Spadina line weekend closure and thinking god help anyone who does not know the city, trying to make out those station names or understand what's being said. Words were run together, station names were said too quickly, and it was just a mess.

This is not announcing the daily specials at Sears - this is a public transit system that many people rely upon to get around. The TTC needs to get this right.

My preference would be to hire the woman who does the announcements on the MTA in NYC (and the same voice from many airports all over the place, including YYZ). Here's a good piece on her: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/announcing-the-subway-announcement-lady/
 

TTC12

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#10
How exactly is glencairn supposed to be pronounced? I've heard everyone pronounce it as glen-caren. I just can't make it two syllables from the way it is spelt... if people who's first language isn't english, wouldn't they rely on the spelling? Sometimes the correct pronounciation can be misleading from the way the word is spelt.

I'm sure we can find someone suitable with a professional voice here in Toronto. I don't mind the pur subway lady, I'd like it to be re-recorded, and this time, try to be more professional. She kind of reminds me of the narrator on 'How it is made'
 
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#12
Spa-dee-na is correct for the historic Spadina House, but Spa-dine-a has become the generally accepted pronunciation for all else Spadina.

I'll defer to the Shuffle Demons, who sang about the Spa-dine-a Bus, not the Spa-dee-na Bus and the associated subway station for which they sought confirmation of their information from.

I do agree that the announcements are clearer and easier to hear, but disjointed and based upon computer pronunciations rather than the way locals say it.

I wonder if Winnipeg Transit had installed stop announcements whether they're stuck with the French and Anglo east of Thunder Bay pronunciation of "Por-tawge" over the Western Canada (west of Thunder Bay, ie Rat Portage) use of "Port-idge" I remember a Winnipeg bus driver correcting me for saying it the Eastern Canada way, after all it is their main drag.
 
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wyliepoon

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#13
[video=youtube;XW6pG2HatXU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XW6pG2HatXU[/video]

Video I shot at Bloor station during today's afternoon rush hour service stoppage. "Spa-dee-na" is heard at 1:01.

It's also interesting that what I think are live-voice announcements (such as the one heard after 2:00) try to make themselves sound like automated announcements too.
 
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#15
Another great morning for the new system: While waiting for my train at Dupont Station (well actually waiting for the empty 2nd train) the automated voice informed me of a Passenger alarm at Summerhill Station. Well, thankfully I was on the Yonge University "Speeedina" Line and this wouldn't affect me:

"Attention all passengers on the Bloor-Danforth Line - we are currently experiencing a delay at our Summerhill Station ..."

I mean the people who input the text for this system must be still sleeping at 8:00 am. This whole thing needs some tinkering.