by The Urban Blabbermouth
My commuter railroad has new cars. They are beautiful, fabulous and a joy to ride.
I don't know how they did it, but the inside of the new cars is wider with lots more space, and the train still fits in the station. Looks like they re-arranged the seats to create more seating. What I like most is that there is a hand rail down the center aisle for those times that I get caught out of position and cannot hold on to the rails above the seats.
The new cars have gadgetry. There is an electronic map with all the stations and it shows you where in the world you are on the train route. Looks like a version of Google maps. There is also a video screen that tells you the next station, the estimated time of arrival, and shows safety messages. No commercials, at least not yet, unless you include the railroad's shameless self promotions, "We are the greatest railroad you have ever been on. Here is our latest project to..."
The train still has audio announcements. It a beautiful voice, very soothing, and the diction is perfect. The station announcements sound so interesting that I am tempted to get off at every stop. Clearly professionals, you know, actors, the ones who do voice overs for radio commercials.
But here's the odd thing. The voice that give us directions, that announces the next station and the transfer points is female. The voice that give us instructions, the voice of command that tell us "Watch the closing doors" or "Get your fat ass inside" if we are too slow in obeying, is male.
Who knew that this iron horse, dripping in modernity, and completely devoid of gender, could be so sexist.