STM - Society in motion
Dou-dou-dou… The new signal for closing doors can be heard in the métro, on the Orange and Blue lines. The new audio signature for the Montréal métro was tested in 2010 and, after a few technical adjustments following customer comments, it is currently being added gradually to all MR-73 métro cars.
Increased safety, improved passenger flow, and fewer breakdowns, these are all good reasons for adopting the audio signal, an international standard. It advises transit users to clear the doors as they are set to close almost immediately upon the audio signal being activated.
Click Metro_Doudoudou to hear the dou-dou-dou…
How does the dou-dou-dou signal work?
The audio signal can be heard when the door-closing mechanism is activated.
Two seconds later (T2), the door-closing cycle is initiated.
Two and a half seconds later (T4.5), the doors are closed and the train gets underway.
In five seconds at most, the doors are closed… so there’s no use running, another train will be by in a few minutes.
What is the reason for the dou-dou-dou ?
In substance, we feel the dou-dou-dou will:
o Prevent transit users from getting stuck between doors (and prevent further injuries).
o Prevent them from running or shoving other passengers to board the métro.
o Reduce the number of door malfunctions; on average, a door will break down once every 4 million times it opens and closes. In our métro, doors open and close over 300 million times a year.
o Prevent service delays. Did you know that in 2010, some 670 000 passengers were delayed by five minutes or more because of problems with doors ?
Why can the door-closing audio signal only be heard on the Orange and Blue lines ?The dou-dou-dou signal is being fitted aboard MR-73 cars, which operate on the 2 – Orange and 5 – Blue lines. MR-63 cars, currently in use on the Green and Yellow lines, are older than MR-73 cars and will be the first to be replaced by the future MPM-10 railcars. When that happens, MR-73 cars equipped with the dou-dou-dou signal will gradually be transferred over to the Green and Yellow lines.
Why can we sometimes hear two similar sounds a few minutes apart, and why does the recorded dou-dou-dou signal have such an electronic sound compared to the one produced by the power converter?
It is always possible for a train in the opposite direction to leave at the same time as the audio signal is heard on the first train. Indeed, after hearing the recorded signal for closing doors, one could possibly hear the “real” sound produced by the power converter (for more informations). In fact, it is for this reason that the recorded audio signal is slightly different and sounds more electronically-generated than the original one produced by the power converter. This way, the blind or visually-disabled can tell them apart.
How was the audio sound chosen?
- In 2009, six audio signals were tested (six audio signals). The idea was to synchronize the audio signal with the closing doors and then ask transit users for their opinion. None of the audio signals was chosen unanimously. However, the relevance of having an audio signal for closing doors was confirmed.
- In 2010, several Montrealers expressed their affection for the sound produced by the power converter, unique to the Montréal métro. This led the STM to electronically reproduce the sound, the famous dou-dou-dou, and to add a spoken message «Attention, nous fermons les portes», prior to conducting new tests using a train on the Orange line.
- Transit users made it clear the audio signal alone was enough, and the voice message was cancelled. Satisfied with its test results, the STM decided to go ahead with the audio signal. Currently, it is gradually overseeing its deployment aboard all métro cars operating on the Orange and Blue lines.
How fast is the dou-dou-dou being deployed ?
Installation is proceeding at a pace of one additional train per week. When activation of the audio signal begins, some 10 trains on the Orange line should feature the dou-dou-dou out of 34 trains running during rush hour.