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MTA Considering New, Shorter 'Stand Clear' Announcement To Decrease Subway Delays

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Seven words that have been heard on subway trains across the city for decades could soon be replaced with a shorter announcement.

As CBS2's Meg Baker reported Friday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority may replace the sound of a man's voice uttering the famous phrase, "Stand clear of the closing doors, please," with a woman's voice saying the shorter, "Please stand clear."

End Of The For Familiar Subway Announcement?

"I don't mind it being a woman's voice, but I kind of like the old, 'Stand clear of the closing doors please,'" said commuter Lincoln Farr. "It has a nice, like, rhythm to it"

It's all part of a plan announced last month to decrease delays for riders.

"What we want to do is get a train in there as quickly as possible, have the train open its doors, passengers get out, passengers get in, and the train goes on its way up the next station," said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz.

The MTA said the new, shorter announcement will save commuters between two three seconds per stop, Ortiz told WCBS 880's Rich Lamb. Thus, those with long commutes may see a major difference, the MTA said.

"Anything that gets things moving quicker," said commuter Harris Bloom.

"I think anything that helps people's commute times is definitely going to benefit the city," said Colleen Reading.

The MTA said the system is bursting at the seams, with more than 6 million people riding the subway each day compared with 3.5 million 20 years ago.

"That's part of our overall effort to really provide evenness of service' to decrease delays and provide more seamless delays for our customers," Ortiz said.

But some New Yorkers think straphangers need more instruction.

"You should be as specific as possible," said commuter Jaice Nesby. "You say, 'stand clear,' they might just step to the side."

Some others expressed concern that the shorter message could lead to more riders holding doors, which could also cause delays.

"It's a great idea, but I think safety is priority," said commuter Jared Lewis. "Even though we want to be efficient and save money, you can never put a value on a life."

Charlie Pellet Recreates His Announcement With A 1010 WINS Twist

The original announcement is voiced by 1010 WINS business reporter Charlie Pellet of Bloomberg Radio. He said he feels honored to be the voice of the subway for however long it lasts, but is a fan of whatever gets trains moving faster.

"I'm a huge mass transit fan so to be the voice of the New York City subway system and to ride the trains that's a two-for in my book," he told 1010 WINS. "If it gets trains moving faster in New York, isn't that ultimately everybody's goal? Mass transit is the best way to go if we can get the trains moving, why not?"

If the No. 2 line "stand clear" announcement proves to work, the MTA has targeted the No. 6, 7 and F trains as the next lines to make the change.

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