The New York City subway will start using gender-neutral terms when making announcements

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has introduced new guidelines for how conductors will communicate with passengers on the subway. Among them is a huge step for inclusivity. Conductors will now use gender-neutral terms when making announcements to riders instead of the usual “ladies and gentlemen.”

These terms could include “riders,” “passengers,” and “everyone,” ABC News reports. It’s a pretty simple and straightforward step that will make everyone’s ride a little more comfortable. Especially those who identify as nonbinary or agender. According to ABC News, the London Underground reportedly made a similar change last summer.

These are just a few of the new changes the MTA is rolling out. Earlier this year, they introduced a way to ensure pregnant women get seats on the train. Now, conductors are also expected to give more specific information regarding delays. New Yorkers know that’s a huge improvement from the vague things they report now, such as, “The train will be moving momentarily.”

Also, the MTA encourages conductors to become mini-tour guides. They could offer info about the Bronx Zoo or the Apollo Theatre as passengers ride past those stations. Locals will probably still keep their headphones in, but this could be majorly helpful for tourists.

At the end of the day, all of these things are great (and the use of gender-neutral language is especially commendable).

But what customers really want are trains that arrive on time and don’t break down. They want more frequent trains and less route-altering construction. A new $836 million action plan could help address those concerns too.

The plan would include subway cleaning and repairs, and the addition of more employees and trains. A proposed phase two, estimated at $8 billion, would then modernize the system as a whole to prevent future problems. It’s a hefty budget, but it’s a necessity for the beleaguered subway system.

In the meantime, we’ll take all the progressive and inclusive changes we can get.