London Underground adopts gender-neutral broadcast greeting

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-07-14 09:06

LONDON - London underground staff have been given new announcement protocols Thursday to change the traditional way of greeting people "ladies and gentleman" to the gender neutral "hello everyone".

Transport for London (TfL) said the move was to ensure all passengers felt welcome on London Underground services. The revised phrasing will be applied to all new pre-recorded announcements made across the capital's transport network.

Mark Evers, director of customer strategy at TfL, said: "We want 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."

A spokeswoman for TfL told Xinhua: "We have made a commitment to move from gender-specific phrases like 'ladies and gentlemen' to a gender-neutral alternative such as 'good morning/good afternoon everyone'.

"We have briefed our staff on this, though from time to time, well-meaning staff may still use the term 'ladies and gentlemen'. If this happens frequently, we will issue reminders to staff."

Revised phrasing will be applied to new pre-recorded announcements as part of the regular cycle of updating them.

"Equality and inclusion are at the heart of TfL's customer service and we will continue to ensure our staff receive appropriate training," the spokeswoman added.

The change has been supported by London mayor Sadiq Khan, who said he has wanted TfL to speak in a "more neutral way".

Khan said: "TfL serves a vibrant, diverse and multicultural city, and provision of an inclusive transport service is at the heart of TfL's purpose. Some customers may not relate to or feel comfortable with the way that certain station announcements were made."

As one of the world's busiest transportation systems, London Underground carries about 1.3 billion passengers every year.

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