On Feb. 3, 2006, a woman from Woodbridge, Va., who worked at an auto dealership was named the new voice of Metro. Randi Miller was selected from 1,258 people and was praised for her voice, which “commanded attention, but was warm.”

Riders didn’t agree at first, with some saying her “doors closing” announcement was “a bit mean and is a touch condescending.” Miller later went back and recorded a more polite version, saying she originally thought the message would only be used when someone was blocking a door.

Washington City Paper’s very own Michael E. Grass, at the time working for The Washington Post‘s Express newspaper, asked Annie Mole, a “prolific observer” of the London Underground, to review Miller’s announcement. Her response:

Randi Miller does not sound too bad — or rather no better or worse than the others, I think it’s just the general repetitiveness of voices that people don’t like…. If you hear a real driver’s voice with all of his or her moods and ironies and sarcasm and impatience and tiredness it helps to make you think that there is a human behind all of this and not just a robot.

Miller, on her website, still advertises her D.C. ubiquity today, as she seeks others interested in a “voice that conveys warmth, clarity, and confidence.”

Just be sure to move to the center of the car!

For the complete Today in D.C. History series, click here.

Photo by Flickr user cuttlefish using a Attribution 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license

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