Voice of the CTA pokes fun at Blago, Ferris and Blues Brothers

Lee Crooks, the CTA’s “doors closing” voice, as well as all stop announcer, visited Chicago courtesy of DNAInfo recently and filmed this video with them.

Credit DNAInfo for getting Crooks to have a little fun with his recent ride on the “L.” They even bought his Ventra card. Take a listen. (Video by Kyla Gardner.)


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  • The man that replaced the conductors.

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    Not directly, and his pronunciation is better than "garble garble Fullergarble Ravensgarble garble."

    Automated systems were put on both the buses and trains because that garbling didn't meet ADA requirements. Problem on the buses was that while most drivers called out the stops, some did not.

  • In reply to jack:

    And so then when the system goes on the fritz, nobody calls them out.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    All operators have microphones, but if they don't use them, then they are violating the ADA.

  • In reply to jack:

    I bet not all buses have microphones or at least not drivers who know how to use them. There was that notorious day when a train derailed on the Red Line, we were jammed on a random bus to downtown and the driver would/could not tell the passengers where the bus was going. No microphone.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    You didn't say you looked for a microphone. You also didn't say if the driver was a mute, nor if he even knew where he was going, or even if he had stops to call out, which is the ADA requirement.

  • I was wondering about the reference to the references, thinking that I had just seen this video, but it turns out that the link posted on chitransit forum was to a different video also on DNAInfo.

  • I would have liked his readings to be a little more deadpan and mechanical sounding. But the concept is fun.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Some of the smiling later on may throw one off, but the "so serious" and "nobody puts ketchup on a hot dog" are about as mechanical as one can get. He doesn't have as much reverb personally as through the announcement system, but he is still channeling the Disney World monorail announcer.

  • In reply to jack:

    Yeah, maybe it was the lack of reverb. I do have to give kudos to the choices of phrases for him to read. Wouldn't it be funny if they were heard now and then on the CTA?

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    They should do something with the Blues Brothers scene of Elwood taking Jake to his flophouse, 2 L trains go by (presumably on Van Buren), and then Carrie Fisher blows it up.

    However, since most of the action was in a Mt. Prospect Cawp Cahr, there isn't much transit oriented material there.

    I supposed CTA could wrap an L car with "flipping golden" leaf, but I think it is still stinging over Blago's "all seniors ride free."

  • ibilldavis, I take exception....Lee Crooks did not replace conductors on CTA trains. First, anyone could have made recorded announcements so you can't say one person replaced conductors. Conductors were replaced because CTA management, city hall, the mayor, the 308 union leadership, and the state legislators all played a part. Illinois should have had a law mandating conductors on a certain length of rapid transit train as they do in New York. Additionally, conductors were a valuable resource in handling train defects and safely helping passenger evacutations. Unfortunately, many conductors, as do many operators, do a poor job handling communication skills over the PA.

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