Meet the man behind the voice of some NYC Transit announcements

Posted at 12:27 AM, Mar 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-10 00:28:50-05

The next uptown 5 train will arrive in 5 minutes.

Please stand back from the platform edge.

You hear the directions and announcements from him every day on the platform along the numbered lines.

His name is Bernie Wagenblast, a traffic reporter and writer. In 2009, he recorded hundreds of New York City street names and an assortment of words. A computer, connected to the signal system, arranges and broadcasts the information.

The advisories and announcements are voiced by a few people. The MTA writes the copy. Briefly, last year, shorter announcements were tested to speed up the boarding process.

A content-creation company called Persado, which is based in Manhattan, has some suggestions for the agency. They're based on the company's technological analysis of messages and behavior.

"Giving the subway a punch of emotional intelligence" is the title of the post.

Instead of "Stand clear of the closing doors, please," the marketing and language specialists recommend "Please be careful of the closing doors."

"Front-loading 'thank you' has been shown to be extremely effective," writes the company. "We added an intimate salutation to address passengers directly and implore them to take action."

The MTA is aware of the suggestions.