Riders of the London Tube are slated to start hearing a different phrase on their morning commutes ― one that doesn’t refer to riders in gendered terms.
Transport for London has reportedly asked London Underground staff to use “Hello everyone” as their standard greeting, as opposed to the traditional “ladies and gentlemen.” The gender-neutral greeting will also be used on prerecorded announcements.
According to reports, the change follows various activist groups campaigning for Transport for London to rethink the language of the greeting, calling it “outdated.”
Mark Evers, director of customer strategy at Transport for London, reportedly stated that, “We want everyone to feel welcome on our transport network.”
Activist group Stonewall, who fought for the change, seemed pleased with the outcome.
“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,” Stonewall said in a statement. “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.”
Institutional changes like this are important, as part of creating space for non-binary individuals or individuals who don’t fit into traditional understandings of “male” and “female” involve publicly creating space in our language for these identities.
Thanks for making this important shift, Transport for London. Cheers!