The voice of Ottawa transit is male.

When OC Transpo’s automated next-stop announcement system goes online this October, it will have a man’s voice calling out every single stop in French and English, transit services general manager Alain Mercier told the city’s transit committee yesterday.

“We spent a lot of time to ensure we had the right voice of Ottawa for transit,” said Mercier.

“The selection was actually made from customer feedback and employees ... it’s their voice of Ottawa and we’re respecting their decision.”

Mercier said the voice was chosen on the basis of clarity in both languages. Recording begins this week.

Rideau-Rockcliffe Coun. Jacques Legendre light-heartedly lamented that the voice of Ottawa transit will be male.

“Thinking about the system I am familiar with in Lyon, (France), it is a female voice,” said Legendre. “When this lady announces the station, you have a shiver go down your spine. It is such a lovely voice.”

As of last week, 138 of OC Transpo’s 1,000-bus fleet has had the NSAS hardware installed on them.

The visual display inside the bus has been expanded to show the time, direction and current stop location, said Mercier. When the new fleet of 306 articulated buses arrives, they will come equipped with that hardware.

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