New York City is one of the most diverse places in the country. With neighborhoods comprised of almost every cultural group, the biggest city in the nation is working on becoming an even more welcoming and inclusive place. Going forward, the Metropolitan Transit Authority is asking all staff to use gender-neutral language during announcements 鈥 and while the step might seem small, it鈥檚 definitely going in the right direction.

According to the Associated Press (via ABC News), the MTA has updated their 鈥淏lue Book,鈥 a guide that all transit staff must study in order to best communicate with transit riders. The book hasn鈥檛 been updated in 30 years and, according to Jon Weinstein, MTA spokesman, the updates have already started rolling out.

Taking a cue from the London Tube system, the MTA is replacing 鈥渓adies and gentlemen鈥 with greetings like 鈥減assengers,鈥 鈥渞iders,鈥 and the general term, 鈥渆veryone,鈥 and while the neutrality of the greetings is important, what actually sparked the update is the ridership鈥檚 general unhappiness with how the system announces delays for riders.

鈥淚 have been in situations where they said it鈥檒l be moving shortly or momentarily,鈥 one passenger told the AP. 鈥淪ometimes momentarily means two minutes, sometimes it means 20 minutes,鈥 which is why the blue book update instructs staff to be as clear and forthcoming as possible when addressing passengers.

The book update states that staff should give detailed, but easy to understand instructions, including, where applicable, approximate delay times, and reasons for delays. 鈥淚t all goes to this fundamental need to make sure we鈥檙e getting people the information they need,鈥 Weinstein said. 鈥淲hat it ultimately should come down to is a clearer, crisper, more informative way of speaking to our customers.鈥

While the changes are definitely welcome, some users are pointing to the dilapidated state of some of the MTA鈥檚 trains, and hope that clearer communication will also lead to better infrastructure. Back in August, the system announced an $836 million plan to fix trains and infrastructure for the aging transit line.

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(Photo via Spencer Platt/Getty)