New York subway scraps 'ladies and gentleman' announcement to become gender neutral

The reaction in New York has been mixed

Clark Mindock
New York
Saturday 11 November 2017 21:36 GMT
New York is planning a change to its metro system
New York is planning a change to its metro system

The New York City Subway system is planning on doing away with its recorded announcements addressing “ladies and gentlemen” in favour of a messages that are gender-neutral.

Instead, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will use phrases like “riders” and “everyone”. The transportation system will also get rid of pre-recorded messages to announce delays, favoring real-time explanations for passengers instead.

“We’re fundamentally changing the way we talk with riders to give them better and clearer information,” an MTA spokesperson told CBS News.

Conductors will also now begin to greet passengers on certain holidays, and already have begun doing so on Tuesday, which was New York’s election day. They’ll also tell people to thank a veteran on Veterans Day, for example.

The changes are a part of a 9-page memo that outlines ways to fundamentally change the way that the MTA interacts with its rider base. A major goal is to get conductors to be more emphatic and human with the millions who rely on the sprawling subway system that serves as a circulatory system between the city’s boroughs.

The new announcements will be phased in, and the old ones rooted out as they are identified. The swap comes just after the New York State comptroller released a report indicating that fares and tolls would likely need to be increased sooner than previously expected — a report that has been denied by others in the state government.

Riders have expressed mixed reaction to the new announcements, with some worried about the cost of changing the entire system’s announcements. Others were indifferent to the idea, and still others said they were fed-up with the drive to make the city politically correct, and that having a train system that says “ladies and gentlemen” isn’t bothering anyone.

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