New York Transit Agency Drops ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ for Gender-neutral Terms

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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.

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