To promote inclusiveness and ensure that all passengers feel comfortable traveling on the London Subway, the underground is going gender-neutral. How so? By changing its greetings to passengers on announcements and trains from being “ladies and gentlemen” to “hello everyone.” According to the BBC, the change will be applied to all pre-recorded announcements which are made across the transport network.
The change was proposed by mayor of the English Green Party, Sian Berry, in June. At the time, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan stated: “I am aware that some customers may not relate to or feel comfortable with the way that certain station announcements are made. I am keen that Transport for London (TFL) addresses these concerns by speaking in a more neutral way when referring to gender.”
Khan added. “TfL has made a commitment to transition from gender-specific phrases like ‘ladies and gentlemen’ which are currently used in announcements, to a gender-neutral alternative such as ‘good morning/good afternoon everyone.’ TfL has briefed its staff on this, though from time to time, well-meaning staff may still use the term ‘ladies and gentlemen’. If this happens frequently, TfL will issue reminders to staff.”
The switch is an effort to make “everyone to feel welcome on our transport network,” said Mark Evers, director of customer strategy at TFL. He explained, “We have reviewed the language that we use in announcements and elsewhere and will make sure that it is fully inclusive, reflecting the great diversity of London.”
The decision is being applauded by many, including the LGBT campaign group Stonewall. Commenting on the development, the group said: “Language is extremely important to the lesbian, gay, bi and trans community, and the way we use it can help ensure all people feel included. We welcome gender neutral announcements to be rolled out across TfL as it will ensure that everyone – no matter who they identify as – feels accounted for.”
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