For two decades, she has made sure you didn’t miss your stop on Calgary’s CTrain. Holly McConnell has been the voice on your daily commute, clearly calling out each stop.
On Thursday however, Holly made her last stop at the Calgary Transit training department before riding off into retirement.
McConnell started with Calgary Transit in 1973, working behind the scenes, handling paperwork and doing payroll.
When Teleride was introduced in 1986, Transit needed a friendly voice to talk to its customers and several clerical staff were asked to speak into a tape recorder.
“They wanted to see who sounded the best and clearest, and who could pronounce words like ‘Marlborough,'” McConnell said.
McConnell made the cut and she became “the voice” for all of Transit’s operations.
“It was kind of neat to do it,” said McConnell, adding she wasn’t paid extra for the opportunity.
When called upon, McConnell would do her voicing at a sound studio near Transit’s Spring Gardens bus barn.
Originally her messages were recorded on tape and would sometimes deteriorate, leading to a lot of teasing from her co-workers.
“I used to get a lot of flak from people here who said, ‘You sounded like a chipmunk today,'” McConnell said.
McConnell has thanked an endless number of travellers for riding Calgary Transit. Now it’s Calgary Transit’s turn to thank McConnell for her many years of great service.
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