Soothing new voice for MTR message

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 April, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 April, 1994, 12:00am

MTR passengers will have one less thing to gripe about from next month with the completion of an improved public address system.

Instead of incomprehensible or poorly pronounced announcements which make the instruction ''Stand clear of the door'' sound like ''Stand clear of the floor'', a new voice will be heard on all 169 trains.

The Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC) has spent billions on the new technology which replaces manually operated recordings with a computerised, melodic female voice.

An MTRC spokesman said it was decided after trials that a woman's voice was the most soothing for harassed travellers.

The development follows a number of complaints from passengers that they could not hear the announcements either because the voice level was too low or the pronunciation was indistinct.

Five men and a woman, some native English-speakers and some who spoke Chinese as their first language, auditioned for the role.

The new voice notifies travellers about the next stop. There are also recordings for accidents and what to do in emergencies, which can be heard either inside or outside the carriages.