Transport for London (TfL) is going gender neutral.
Last week, TfL advised station staff to replace phrases like ‘ladies and gentlemen’ when making announcements. “Good morning everyone” will now become “Good morning everyone” in a bid to make passengers feel more comfortable.
Pre-recorded announcements in stations across the city will also be evaluated and possibly changed to correspond with the new advice.
Campaigners argued that referring to passengers as ‘ladies and gentlemen’ is “outdated” and something that “belonged to yesterday”. The new announcements are an effort to reach out to people who are gender non-binary.
Mark Evers, director of customer strategy at TfL, told Metro that the organisation wants “everyone to feel welcome on our transport network.
“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.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan first addressed the issue of gender neutral announcements on TfL services during a Mayor’s question time in June. “I am keen that TfL addresses these concerns by speaking in a more neutral way when referring to gender,” he said at the time.
“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.”
Stonewall welcomed the decision, telling : “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.”
Last year, shortly after his election as Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan announced plans for gender neutral toilets.
“Identity is an area that is evolving and developing and stuff, so I think you should respect people’s right to choose how they want to be identified,” he said at the time.