Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Stand to the left

As I don't use escalators to get to and from a railway station and then my workplace and so not in a hurry, I am usually content to stand aside on escalators and let others pass me by. It is a bad attitude, but why walk up or down when the moving staircase does it for you?

I wrote about which side to stand on when using escalators and it certainly varies around the world. Post was here and a later bit here.

So perhaps people complaining in forums about 'foreigners' standing on the wrong side of the escalator need to take this into account. Nevertheless, if you are in foreign country, you should observe what the locals do and take their cue.

There is no doubt casual visitors to the City are the worst offenders. Mix casual users with peak travel time train users, such as Melbourne Central Railway Station, and there is real conflict. One aspect of the problem is the slowness of escalators. They are painfully and un-necessarily slow. If their speed was doubled, many people would not need to go dashing down escalators and casual users might be a bit more focused when they used escalators.

But why oh why aren't there signs telling people to keep left on escalators? It just seem to be so obvious to have visible keep left signs as you ascend or descend on an escalator.


  1. Two comments, Andrew.

    '..but why walk up or down when the moving staircase does it for you?

    Exercise and health.

    'But why oh why aren't there signs telling people to keep left on escalators?

    There are such signs on the Sydney network but they are located on the side panels of the escalators which means they are not easily visible when the escalator carries lots of passengers.

  2. When in Rome, do as the Romans!

    I'm glad it's not: When in the Vatican...

  3. Oh, Andrew!
    At this early hour?

  4. Peter's joke is a good one.

    I always walk on escalators - I'm a speed-freak - but some old people cannot cope with them too-fast.

    It's certainly a drag being old - the freeways are a terror zone, buses are impossible to get on and off easily, and train travel is risking attack as well as disease from TOUCHING ANY PART of public transport' and from other travellers who cough and sneeze without handkerchiefs.

  5. Keep left unless overtaking!

    The escalators at Parliament & Melbs Central speed up for peak hour, non peak hour is so slow I want to swear!

  6. We have "keep left" signs on Auckland escalators. But they're often ignored. It's the thought that counts, though, I guess.

  7. They go slower off peak secondary to maintenance... apparently they "wear out" faster if they stay on at the "peak" rate.
    When I have used the escalators, I am terrified! Especially when I am with the kids. I do tell them to keep left, just like when we drive on the freeway. But, just like out there on the freeway.. you find the slow drivers in the fast lane.. who infuriate the local drivers and create road rage... so is it escalator rage? Yeah I reckon it is.

  8. Victor, that is why I prefaced it with 'it is a bad attitude'. I do normally walk up escalators but usually on the left and stop if there is a person in the way. Sometimes I pass them, sometimes not. Sydney is better than Melbourne then, at least you have them. Our station escalators have a perfect space for glued on signs and they would prevent sliders too.

    Hehe Peter. No, we shan't do as is done in the Vatican.

    Yeah Jayne. It doesn't seem too hard.

    Ann, being an invalid, all of city stations seem to have very convenient lifts, excellent for old people. I used to like freeways, but now they are too busy. It is like driving inner suburban at high speed. Look at PT germs as building up your resistance against germs for your old age.

    They certainly used to speed up years ago Fen. Pleased that they still do. Each city station has at least two up and two down escalators. Why not a permanent signed fast and slow?

    TS, at least you would feel some moral righteousness if you barged past people standing on the right.

    Cazzie, I will take that as inside knowledge. Interesting. Kids and escalators rarely go wrong. Just tell them to wait out of the way at the top and let them run up.