DENVER — The Regional Transportation District (RTD) had two extra years to perfect the G Line, but that still wasn’t enough time for the robot that announces each stop to nail the pronunciation of “Wheat Ridge.”
The long-awaited train broke through the red tape and opened Friday, after years of back-and-forth with federal and state regulators. Its route runs from Denver to Arvada and to -- you guessed it: Wheat Ridge.
A Next with Kyle Clark viewer named Chuck just took his first ride on the G Line, where he noticed the robot voice struggles to pronounce one of the key cities along the route.
Hear it for yourself (and note the laughter on the back-end):
It seems that the robot stumbles between the two words, and RTD agreed.
A spokesperson told Next that they come up with a script, and the contractor, Denver Transit Partners (DTP), puts a computerized voice to the words. Thanks to Chuck's audio, RTD said they are working to make adjustments.
"RTD generates the script and [the DTP] vehicle maintenance team develops it into a computer-generated recording. Once the announcements are generated we make adjustments to sound out destinations more phonetically if necessary. We have notified DTP and will look into making adjustments in the near future," their statement said.
RTD added that it's not uncommon for them to tweak computer-generated audio.
Unlike the A, B and G Lines, RTD's heavy rail trains, the light rail train announcements were voiced by a human. Karen Hutton, who lives in California, does voiceover work. For our own entertainment, we asked Hutton to take a crack at the G Line's script.
You can hear her audition here:
The real trick - for humans and robots alike - is to be able to say "Wheat Ridge" correctly five times fast, because we all know that's impossible.
The G Line robot struggles to say 'Wheat Ridge,' but we found some others that got it on the first try! Watch Next's full episode (4/30/19) here: