Why People Should Stand on Escalators Side by Side

Every morning thousands of people feel as if they're trying to accomplish a particularly tricky quest. Wrestle out of the packed subway car - done. Avoid getting lost and carried away by the crowd - done. Reach the escalator and join the gridlock at the entrance - done. At least all the commuters are following the common escalator rule: stand on the right side, walk on the left. After all, it's the most effective way to use an escalator, right? Actually, it’s wrong!

Wait, what? But this practice makes perfect sense: you can always choose whether you want to relax and let the machinery do all the work or save time and walk up! Yep, it turns out that we've been using escalators inefficiently all this time.

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To walk, or not to walk? That is the question. 0:50
Is the time difference really that great? 3:36
Why people should stand on escalators side by side 4:43
Please, stay out of my personal space! 5:15
What the supporters of the "everybody-walks" idea say 6:21

#brightside #etiquette #subway

- A 2011 study from the University of Greenwich figured out that while 75% of people choose to stand on escalators, only 25% walk up.
- In 2015, the London Underground started a three-week trial of a revolutionary approach to using escalators.
- Employees of Transport for London asked commuters not to walk on the escalators.
- During the morning rush hour between 08:30 to 09:30, the average escalator used to transport about 12,750 people. But during the trial period of standing rules, the same escalator moved 16,220 people!
- People kept pushing each other, shouting, and arguing. It seems that the problem lies in human nature: we want the result right away and are unwilling to postpone it in the interest of the greater good.
- Interestingly, people didn't feel all that indignant about the new rule on longer escalators. On such escalators, commuters already preferred to stand on the walking side rather than move.
- It took a commuter 26 seconds to walk to the top of the moving escalator and 40 seconds to get there while standing still.
- When most commuters stand on the right (or on the left, depending on the country), the weight on the stairs gets distributed unevenly. As a result, one side of the escalator experiences a much greater strain than the other.
- The average American likes to have at least 1 and 1/2 ft (0.45 m) of personal space separating them from other people. Naturally, when you stand on an escalator, this distance is much smaller. It makes people feel uncomfortable.
- But there are also a lot of experts who are sure that walking on escalators is still a much safer and better way to get to your goal.
- The supporters of the "everybody-walks" idea also say that if nobody was standing on the stairs and everybody was moving, there would be no gridlocks at all. Well, although reasonable, this advice doesn't sound like fun when you're returning from the airport with a heavy suitcase.

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