London Tube to welcome passengers with gender-neutral announcements

Parts of the London Underground have been decorated with the rainbow flag in support of London Pride and its committment to gender neutrality.

Story highlights

  • The Tube will phase out older prerecorded announcements over next 6 months
  • The measure is aimed at making all passengers on subway system feel welcome

London (CNN)The London Underground is on track to provide an inclusive service to subway passengers by adopting gender-neutral announcements.

Transport for London (TfL), the government body responsible for the Tube, said their employees will soon begin using good morning or good afternoon "everyone" as an alternative to phrases such as "ladies and gentleman."
Mark Evers, director of customer strategy for TfL, said the initiative was a new effort to make all passengers feel welcome on the underground rail network in the UK's capital. "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," Evers said in a statement Thursday.
    London Mayor Sadiq Khan supported the proposed change during a session of Mayor's Question Time in June, saying the provision of an inclusive transport service was "at the heart of TfL's purpose."
    London Mayor Sadiq Khan is a vocal supporter of LGBTI rights.
    Passenger Marie Erking told CNN she likes the idea. "Everyone should feel included in everything they do," she said.
    Erking, a German living in London, said she believed other international cities would eventually follow suit.
    "I'm pretty sure that in Berlin it will be introduced ... I do think it will spread around the world and everyone will hopefully be accepted."
    The new language will be used in new prerecorded announcements made across the capital's transport network as older ones are phased out.
    TfL advised that while staff has been briefed on the changes, "well-meaning" members of their team might accidentally slip back into the old announcements out of habit. "If this happens frequently, we will issue reminders to staff," TfL said.