Menu

InstagramTwitterYouTubeFacebookSnapchat
Globe Icon
Join and support LGBT+ journalism

Join

and support
LGBT+ journalism

Current Affairs

Announcements on the New York subway are set to go gender-neutral

Joseph McCormick November 13, 2017

The New York subway system is set to go gender-neutral in its announcements.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority in the city made the announcement this week.

Trams and busses run by the MTA will get rid of announcements using gendered terms like “ladies and gentlemen”.

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 14: People rush through the New York City subway system at rush hour on August 14, 2013 in New York City. At an average of 48 minutes one way, New Yorkers deal with the longest commute to work in the United States – a full 13 minutes longer than the national average. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

They will instead be replaced with language like “passengers”, “riders” and “everyone”.

Changes will be made as part of the NYC Subway Action Plan which seeks to improve the 113-year-old system.

“We’re fundamentally changing the way we talk with riders to give them better and clearer information,” MTA spokesman Jon Weinstein told PIX11.

The news comes months after it was announced that London’s public transport systems are set to all go gender-neutral.

Workers on the tube were instructed to replace the phrase “ladies and gentlemen” with “everyone” when saying good morning to passengers.

New versions of pre-recorded announcements will be created for Transport for London services, including the Underground and Overground, after London Mayor Sadiq Khan considered the policy in December.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan at Pride 2017
(Photo by Josh Jackman)

The move has been welcomed by various LGBT groups, after months of campaigning over the issue.

TfL’s customer strategy head Mark Evers said the organisation wanted “everyone to feel welcome on our transport network,” the Evening Standard has reported.

“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,” he added.

A spokesman for Stonewall welcomed the news that the world’s first rapid transit system will say good morning to everyone, not just the extremes of an outdated gender binary.

He 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.”

Aimee Challenor, a 19-year-old trans campaigner who has long been fighting for this shift, said it was a “positive commitment from TfL,” but urged the organisation to formalise the move.

“People are saying it’s such a small thing, and ‘get a life’.

“It’s these little things which can make people’s lives better. London is a city I love travelling through; it’s diverse.

“But hearing these announcements – we are living in the 21st century, not the 19th,” she added.

TfL has said it plans to update its guidance “as quickly as we can”.

Speaking at Mayor’s Question Time last month, Mayor Khan explained the policy.

“Transport for London serves a vibrant, diverse and multicultural city, and provision of an inclusive transport service is at the heart of TfL’s purpose,” he said.

“I am aware however, that some customers may not relate to or feel comfortable with the way that certain station announcements are made.

“I am keen that TfL addresses these concerns by speaking in a more neutral way when referring to gender.”

More: gender, gender binary, gender neutral, language, London Underground, Sadiq Khan, Stonewall, transport, Transport for London, tube, UK

Click to comment

Swipe sideways to view more posts!

Dismiss

Loading ...

Close icon