re you the type of person who moves to the right on escalators to allow impatient others to pass you by walking up the left? Turns out, you’re part of the problem.
The Shanghai Metro has officially denounced the “stand right, walk left” custom on escalators, declaring instead that all commuters ought to stand. In a notice over the weekend, the metro explained that walking on escalators is dangerous and can cause damage to the machines due to the uneven load.
A new safety notice warns commuters against walking, playing, leaning, and facing the wrong way on escalators, as well as carrying heavy goods or trolleys on them, while also cautioning individuals to always keep hold of the handrail.
These notices are, of course, non-compulsory, so it remains to be seen how much they change behavior. Considering the respect shown in Shanghai to warnings about letting people off metro trains first before cramming in, we certainly aren’t expecting any miracles.
However, it does appear that such a change could be beneficial for all. Last month, Lesley Strawderman, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at Mississippi State University, wrote an article in Quartz explaining how the “stand right, walk left” custom on escalators actually ends up slowing everyone down by limiting the amount of space available to commuters.
Meanwhile, we are for anything that might help to keep the casualty count for China’s infamous escalator epidemic.