On Friday, local news outlet PIX11 reported that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority wants to ditch the term "ladies and gentlemen" on its subway and bus announcements in favor of a more gender neutral way of addressing passengers.
Bus drivers and new recorded announcements will be replacing gender-specific language with terms such as "passengers," "riders" and "everyone." Any old pre-recorded announcements that include "ladies and gentlemen" will be updated to reflect the new standards.
According to PIX11, transit staff was notified of the change last week, which went into effect immediately.
The MTA follows in the footsteps of the London Underground, which earlier this year began adopting gender-neutral announcements. Transport for London announced in July that its employees would begin using "everyone" as an alternative to "ladies and gentlemen."
The MTA's decision is part of a bigger initiative to be more communicative towards riders, a strategy laid out in the NYC Subway Action Plan. More steps in those plans include moving away from pre-recorded announcements and towards more live updates, and explanations for delays in real time. Conductors can also start naming landmarks near corresponding stops if they so wish.
"We're fundamentally changing the way we talk with riders to give them better and clearer information," MTA spokesman Jon Weinstein told PIX11.
So there you have it — the subway may be facing massive delays and overcrowding, but at least your sweaty, uncomfortable journey will be accompanied by a little more equality and inclusivity. We'll take what we can get, as it happens.
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