London Tube Drivers Share Inspirational Quotes to Commuters

Inspirational Journey for London Commuters
An inspirational journey for London commuters

The next time you take the subway in London, you may find yourself inspired to greatness by the inspirational quotes of Einstein, Shakespeare and Goethe.

As part of a program to promote the arts, Tube drivers have been given a book of inspirational quotes from the world’s great thinkers and are encouraged to read them over the intercom between stops.

Instead of hearing warnings that there could be a delay ahead, Piccadilly Line riders are offered the inspirational words of Albert Einstein, “Everyone should be respected, but no-one idolized,” or Johann von Goethe’s uplifting, “Nothing is worth more than this day.”

The program was the brainchild of artist Jeremy Deller, who provided the drivers with a book of inspirational quotations.

“I wanted to lift the moods of those traveling on the Piccadilly Line,” said Deller. He even made sure that the drivers got some tips on how to deliver the quotes by a standup comedian, Arthur Smith.

Deller wanted to make sure that the inspirational quotes fit the moment, too. If the train is stuck for a bit, then Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Hell is other people” probably wouldn’t be a good fit.

Instead, he would recommend that drivers read Gandhi’s, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” Deller hopes people would get a small chuckle out of it instead of becoming upset.

The great quotes program complements another arts program already in place that posts poems in the Tube carriages where ads usually go.

According to officials, there’s no end date set for the program and the agency is hoping passengers will offer their thoughts via email.

At least one driver is already a fan of the inspirational quotes. Susy Wells says the quotes have livened up her job, which she admits, “can be a bit monotonous at times.” Wells adds, “It’s brilliant and the passengers love it.”

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