The Washington Post

D.C. Metro announcements: The voice of New York City subway system weighs in

We asked Buzz readers to give Metro train announcements a shot by calling in and reading the following message: “Next station L’Enfant Plaza. Transfer to the Orange and Blue lines. Doors open on the right.”.

(Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

“There are two key elements, and the first is good equipment,” said Wagenblast, a former radio traffic reporter in New York now based in Cranford, N.J. “The equipment has to work — everything from the mike to the speakers.”

The second element is the clarity of the announcement. “Being very crisp and’s really the key,” he said.

Wagenblast also noted that New York City subway stations have more speakers installed to ensure that announcements are heard clearly and over passing trains. Also, while signs could replace standard announcements, as one reader suggested, it wouldn’t help the visually impaired. Audible announcements are also beneficial to visitors who may be riding the system for the first time.

So would he record the D.C. Metro announcements if asked?

“Sure I’d be happy to,” Wagenblast said with a laugh. “Though I’d need pronunciation pointers for the more difficult stations.”

Listen to his take on a D.C. Metro announcement below, followed by your best impressions of the worst station announcements:

Best of the worst:


What a deep voice you have...

Blooper I

Blooper II


Too excited?


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Sleep advice you won't find in baby books
In defense of dads
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
For good coffee, sniff, slurp and spit
How to keep your child safe in the water
How your online data can get hijacked
Play Videos
How to avoid harmful chemicals in school supplies
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to get organized for back to school
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom