Patience, they say, is a virtue, but drawing attention to situations where patience is required is often a self-defeating measure. Since the MTA debuted its next-gen rolling stock in the late 1990s, prerecorded voices have long urged us to be patience during the so-called “unavoidable delays,” but recently, the backlash against these reminders of delays has been growing louder. Transit, it seems, is listening.
The furor, which lived in the background for the past decade, reached a crescendo in June when a Daily News columnist bemoaned the constant announcements. Calling them “presumptuous and condescending,” Juliet Lapidos termed them “counterproductive” as well. The messages, which were never focus-grouped, reminded people to be impatient when no one was in a position to do anything about the delay. Now, the tone has changed.
As many riders have noticed lately and as The Post reported today, the vocabularly of the announcements has changed. “We apologize for the inconvenience,” the commanding male voice now says after his warning of “train traffic ahead of us.” Transit officials say they don’t want to “admonish” passengers, and the new announcements are now in place systemwide. Of course, after a while, we’ll probably just ignore it all anyway.