How to properly use the escalator?

Taking a leaf out of Tokyo Metro’s book, because all of us might have gotten it wrong in Singapore.

The convention in most parts of the world, including Singapore, is for commuters to usually stand on one side of the escalator and keep the other side clear to accommodate people in a hurry.

This has been a long-standing culture when using an escalator. Most people would already understand this rule and keep the other lane free.

Well, according to Tokyo Metro, this convention is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!

The Tokyo Metro has launched a series of posters in Japan encouraging commuters to stand on the escalator and discourages everyone to walk up or down.

Walking on escalators can kill

This is not new in Japan. The movement to educate the Japanese public on the ‘correct’ way of using the escalators have started as early as 2015.

Despite the convenience of keeping one side clear for people in a hurry, the Japanese are convinced that it only resulted in more accidents than ease. As seen in the poster, Tokyo Metro showed the possible accidents that may happen while walking.

They also encourage people to stand properly within the yellow outline and remind everyone to hold on to the handrail.

Why change the traditional escalator rule?

Tokyo Metro adopted this advisory for several reasons, such as safety and discipline. It also helps people move faster and extend the lifespan of escalators by reducing wear and tear.

Study proves that thousands are admitted to hospital every year from escalator accidents. The majorities of injuries are caused by people falling or being knocked over by other people or heavy objects such as luggage.

Standing on an escalator also proved that it can transfer people faster than keeping the other side clear. According to London’s Holborn Station Experiment, people stood on both sides can transfer 30 percent more people compared to having only a one-lane ride up/down.

Another concern regarding two-lane escalator is the premature damage sustained on the standing side since it takes up all the weight.

The question is…

With all the good intentions Tokyo Metro administration has in mind, netizens in Singapore are still doubtful whether this new rule will improve human jam if Singapore’s own train company, SMRT, tries to implement it in Singapore. That brings us to the real question: Are people ready to change?

Share your thoughts in the comments.