Drivers on London Underground trains have started reading out quotes from thinkers like Jean-Paul Sartre and Mahatma Gandhi in a bid to bring a ray of sunshine into the lives of passengers, officials said last week.
As well as the usual announcements urging passengers to “mind the gap” and warning of delays, Piccadilly Line drivers are now also quoting philosophy over the public announcement system in a move broadly welcomed by passengers.
The quotes include “Everyone should be respected, but no-one idolized,” (Albert Einstein), “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory,” (Friedrich Engels) and “Nothing is worth more than this day,” (Johann von Goethe).
They come from a book of quotations compiled by artist Jeremy Deller which has been given to drivers as part of an initiative to promote art on the London Underground, also known as the Tube.
Poems are already regularly posted up inside Tube carriages in space usually used for advertisements.
Transport for London, which runs the Tube, said in a statement it hoped the move would “lift the moods of those travelling on the Piccadilly Line”.
Deller, though, highlighted the importance of drivers using appropriate quotes at appropriate times.
For example, if a train was stuck in a tunnel, “there’s one that probably isn’t good, it’s by Jean-Paul Sartre, which is ‘Hell is other people’,” Deller told the BBC.
“But I suspect one by Gandhi would be great, which is ‘There’s more to life than increasing its speed’, which I think might calm people down slightly.