Good morning on this bleak Monday.
Travel on the subway today and you may hear singing, snoring, panhandling and “showtime” music, but you’ll no longer hear the phrase “ladies and gentlemen.”
At least, not from your conductor.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is replacing the phrase “ladies and gentlemen” in announcements with gender-neutral words in an effort to be more inclusive.
Instead you’ll likely hear, “Good morning, everyone,” or, “Hello, passengers.”
It’s just one of the changes to the conductors’ script that started earlier this month.
Conductors will also now mention special events or days, like reminding riders to vote on Election Day or thanking a service member on Veterans Day. They can also point out landmarks and attractions, like the High Line, the Stonewall National Monument or the Apollo Theater at those stops.
Listen even closer and you may hear another change: Fewer automated announcements and more human voices.
This morning you may hear the train conductor say something like: “Good morning, riders. Let’s keep the trains moving — walk all the way into the car, and please don’t hold the doors open.”
Or with today’s soggy weather, conductors may warn: “Hello. Subway floors and station platforms may be slippery today. Be careful when you get on and off the train, or when taking the stairs.”
Those examples were taken from a bulletin that was circulated to transportation employees this month. They are meant to be more human, more descriptive and “more empathetic to our customers’ frustrations,” according to the bulletin.
When something goes wrong, the M.T.A. wants conductors to give real-time updates with more information about what’s going on — including how long you’ll be stuck, if they know.
“We’re completely changing the way we communicate with our customers,” said Jon Weinstein, a spokesman for the M.T.A. “The basic language of New York City transit is changing. It’s about speaking in a more human tone, giving our customers clearer, better information, and really talking to them like they’re people.”
What are other changes you would like to hear regarding M.T.A. announcements? What would be helpful? Let us know in the comments.
Here’s what else is happening:
We hope the M.T.A.’s cheery new greetings perk you up on this glum day.
It’s wet, cold and windy.
There’s a chance of chilly showers throughout the day, and the mercury won’t budge past 45.
Ignore the thermometer; it will feel colder with the wind.
In the News
• The families of the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre will make their case to the Supreme Court that the companies that manufactured and sold the rifle used by the gunman bear responsibility for the 2012 attack. [New York Times]
• Though the pope has urged Catholics not to use their cellphones during Sunday Mass, some parishioners can’t resist checking their devices in the pews. [New York Times]
• The detective who investigated the disappearance of the wife of the real estate scion Robert Durst will be called to the stand today. [New York Times]
• An Uber driver crashed his vehicle and died over the weekend after he was hit in the head with a hockey stick by a pedestrian, the police said. [New York Times]
• A mural in a Bronx auto body shop serves as both a heroic portrayal of Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts and a reminder of the challenges facing its citizens post-Hurricane Maria. [New York Times]
• New York is now the cigarette-smuggling capital of the nation. [New York Post]
• Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation Saturday to add PTSD to the list of ailments that can legally be treated with medical marijuana. [News 12]
• An upstate New York church has drawn some controversy for encouraging its worshipers to come armed. [New York Post]
• Today’s Metropolitan Diary: “Coin Toss at the Tollbooth”
• For a global look at what’s happening, see Your Morning Briefing.
Coming Up Today
• A photography exhibition “Occupied Sites: A Look at Staten Island’s Prehistory,” at the Conference House Park Visitor Center in Staten Island. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. [Free]
• The author Myriam Gurba discusses her book “Mean” at the Mid-Manhattan Library in Midtown Manhattan. 6:30 p.m. [Free]
• A discussion with Matthew McGregor, digital director for Precision Strategies, “Digital Democracy: How Technology Impacts Politics,” at the Brooklyn Historical Society in Brooklyn Heights. 6:30 p.m. [$5]
• A Carnegie Hall neighborhood concert with the Americana performer Martha Redbone at Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. 7 p.m. [Free]
• Knicks host Cavaliers, 7:30 p.m. (MSG).
• Alternate-side parking remains in effect until Nov. 24.
• For more events, see The New York Times’s Arts & Entertainment guide.
And Finally …
The streetcar has a long and storied past in New York City. Today, we will get a glimpse of its possible future.
Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector, a group advocating for a proposed waterfront streetcar between Queens and Brooklyn, will show off a full-size modern streetcar at an event at the Brooklyn Navy Yard this evening.
Though streetcars haven’t been used in our city in 60 years, their roots are here: In November of 1832, the world’s first streetcar made its maiden trip in New York City.
The coach, capable of carrying 40 passengers, was attached to a pair of horses and plodded along tracks on the Bowery, between Prince and 14th Streets.
It moved at about 12 miles per hour and cost 25 cents a trip.
Inside, they could be gross. Riders complained about sweaty interiors and packed into them “like hams in a corner grocery store,” wrote The New York Herald.
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