Why Do People Stand on Escalators and Hold up Others Instead of keeping to the side?

Instead of standing to the side so others can pass

Comments

  • +48 votes

    A lot of people aren't aware or used to standing on the left, especially when most other countries stand on the right, so it's likely not intentional.

    •  

      This is Australia - not most other countries though.

      • +52 votes

        We all do micro-mistakes when first visiting other countries or in new environments, especially when it's an instinctive thing that you don't physically think about it but just do.

        It took me a few tries to get used to it when arrived here and now make the reverse mistake back on the Tube in London, after decade of using it previously.

        Most people aren't intentionally malicious. Have a little faith.

        • +37 votes

          Mate how many foreign tourists do you think there are at the moment

        • -39 votes

          I dont know what the rules are in london, but here and in some places in asia the rule displayed on the escalator is no walking and to hold on.

          So i always stand in the middle holding both sides to enforce the rule since people like to ignore it. If they start telling me to move i refer to the rules.

          • +10 votes

            @Chchnu: Do you also sit in two lanes on the freeway to ensure everyone is doing the speed limit as well?

            It's not your place to do this, this kind of backwards enforcement logic ticks me off to no end

          • +3 votes

            @Chchnu: If I am trying to catch the train or something and you refer me to ‘the rules’ when I ask you politely to move over, you are probably getting punched in your face and kneed in your stomach a couple of times.

            • -3 votes

              @Ridiculous Panda: I will be the first to join you. Idiots like Chchnu should go back to Asia and hold the escalators all day

              • +3 votes

                @havok44: Ooooh that escalated even quicker than the speed at which the OP would like to be escalated on an escalator.

          •  

            @Chchnu: Low quality troll

      • +2 votes

        I wonder why Australia adopted stand to the left.

        Escalator etiquette

        Some people really need to hang on, (especially if there is someone going to bustle past) so the right hand maybe stronger for this. What side are you supposed to use climbing stairs?

        Probably safer to hold back rather than pass in these COVID times.

        • +36 votes

          I wonder why Australia adopted stand to the left

          Because we drive on the left, and the escalators move forwards on the left in our country

          • +11 votes

            @Switchblade88: The UK drives on the left but the convention is to stand on the right.

            •  

              @Baysew: Same in Japan. The convention of stand to the right stems from the fact that most people who choose to walk up will use the left side to walk up.

          • +2 votes

            @Switchblade88: Sometimes I wonder if there's much logic behind it but there probably isn't. Japan drives on the left and half of the country stands on the left while the other half stands on the right.

        • +5 votes

          I was in London for 5 years and I found it easy and the polite thing to do to keep right if I wasn’t powering up the steps …… as far as which side to stand on it makes sense to me to stay left as we drive on the left hand side of the road. I assume they stay right because of the rest of Europe being right hand drivers 😀

          •  

            @mlbrooke: This is exactly why it's confusing. There's no standardised way to do it.

        • +2 votes

          Annoyingly some shopping centres don't have the escalators orientated poorly. Often see people walk up to the end of the escalators at my local shops

    • +7 votes

      If they are keeping right allowing people through that's fine too, I'm more talking about people that stand in the middle/ don't let people through.

      • +3 votes

        Because I'm bigger than you 😂👍

      • +1 vote

        Just say “excuse me” and they’ll likely step to the side.

    • +2 votes

      But most people are standing in the middle. No spacial awareness?

      • +12 votes

        You're meant to stand in the middle.
        At least that's what they say. The escalator companies have slowly learned that when sticking to one side, what happens is there's a lot more wear on the machine. It's also a risk that when it fails, the entire escalator could give out. This has happened many times in China and in other countries. So now they recommend people stand in the middle, and for the walkers that they should just stand and be patient.

        I've thought that they should do alternative left-right spots for people to stand on, but that would impede walk-throughs. It wouldn't work.

        I guess what would work is if there was a digital screen on the floor at the entrance telling you which side to stand on. And that this would update/alternate itself once a day. And on the bottom side of the escalator where they have the bristles, they could have a different coloured LED lights. ie/ Display shows a green left-side and says "Stand Here", with on the right-side it is red and says "Leave Empty". And maybe a : ) which says Thank you for the Escalator etiquette. Then the right side is coloured red on the escalator, with the left-side coloured green. All the escalators could be made the same side on that day, and they all switch to the other side at the same time (eg 4am) every day.

        • +6 votes

          So they should design the escalators to be more wear resistant. Australia isn't as busy as most other countries so the wear is a lot less anyway.

          I've seen scary elevator and escalator videos from China. So I'm not going to take their safety recommendations too seriously.

    •  

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escalator_etiquette

      We somehow don't stand on the same side as our UK cousin…

    •  

      Yeah, but so many stand in the centre or two abreast. Ignorance or arrogance.

      It's a LOT like drivers on the road. Not considerate of others.

  • +12 votes

    I especially hate it when people do it on travelators

    How lazy do you have to be

    • +21 votes

      Lol, idiots at the airport standing on the travelators like it's some kind of fun ride.

      • +7 votes

        Nothing wrong with standing on the travelators at airports as long as you keep to one side…

      • +34 votes

        Power walk pass them on the carpets to establish dominance.

        Continiously Lift your 30kg suitcase above your head for extra effect.

        • +9 votes

          Power walking on the travelators are amazing though, feel the zoom

  • +3 votes

    It's the same as walking down a footpath. Some people are from other countries that usually "keep to the right" and they assume it's the same here. Can't really get angry at that.
    When you go overseas into one of those countries that normally "keep right", I'm sure there'll be times where you "keep left" too. It's a two-way street (no pun intended!).

    • +11 votes

      If they are keeping right allowing people through that's fine too, I'm more talking about people that stand in the middle/ don't let people through.

  • +29 votes

    Because they can and because they don't care due to lack of situational awareness and full of entitlement.

    •  

      This is the holy grail answer! I can even picture the ms paint diagram explaining it!

    •  

      Can't wait thirty seconds have to wait on a escalotor.. who is entitled

  • +22 votes

    I do this now to try get people respect my 1.5metres.

    • +2 votes

      This

    • -2 votes

      What stupidity, and what about when you get in the Train? Do you wave your arms around to maintain 1.5m ?

      Be considerate people, if you want to go easy and stay where you are, that's fine, make way for people who are going places…

      • +2 votes

        I actually don't know the last time I caught public transport.

        How about you be considerate and allow more time to get to places and respect people's personal space.
        It's none of my concern if you're going somewhere.

        • -3 votes

          It's none of my concern that you want people to respect your personal space. Allow them to pass you and they won't be in your personal space long enough for it to matter. Simples.

  • +1 vote

    Its like a free carnival ride. Hold on and enjoy!

  • +15 votes

    It's a lot like drivers who drive in the right lane and completely block the flow of traffic, forcing everyone to go as slowly as they are (right hand turners accepted). I know they don't have to unless it's a multi-lane road with speed limit of 80, but in this country it's general road etiquette. KEEP LEFT UNLESS OVERTAKING! The same should apply to escalators, footpaths, etc. But again, it's a complete lack of situational awareness, ignorance or just plain arrogance.

    • +8 votes

      2 downvotes, but no responses? I wish people felt more inclined to explain why they disagree. It's just a conversation. It's ok to have different opinions. But it's so much more useful to understand why we have different opinions.

      • +3 votes

        Didn't down vote, but for 2 Lane suburban roads the left lane can often be much slower, with pauses for people turning left, and needing to merge right multiple times to avoid parked cars and stopped buses. So I can see that for some roads, staying in the right lane is quicker and safer.

      • +6 votes

        Didn't downvote but as you've said it's only required on muti-lane roads with a speed limit over 80. You are wrong to expect people to follow the same rule for all roads and to justify it with 'lack of situational awareness, ignorance or just plain arrogance'

        •  

          Agreed but it's annoying when stuck behind someone going 10 to 20 kmph slower and then it's unsafe to undertake due to heavy traffic

        • +1 vote

          No it's not required, but I feel it is a very good thing to do to help the flow of traffic. Nothing more frustrating than a car in the right lane going the same speed (or slower) than the car next to them for an extended period. The traffic can't flow because no one can pass. This causes congestion and worse. If the car behind me clearly wants to go faster than I am I use the next opportunity to move left and allow them to pass. In my opinion people who drive slowly in the right hand lane regardless of the traffic around them is either unaware of the potential problems they are creating (ignorance) or intentionally not moving because of some sense of control or entitlement to be in the right lane (arrogance).

          • +1 vote

            @stuckster: Except they might be needing to make a right turn soon. It would be worse if they were lane hopping just to appease one impatient person in the right lane.

            • -4 votes

              @wasabinator: Yes I acknowledged right hand turners in my first comment. Obviously they get a pass.
              But the thing is it's not typically one impatient driver behind them. It's usually many… and many more behind them. Who knows why they are in a hurry? It shouldn't matter. The fact is they would like to pass and can't which only creates more congestion and impatience and far more lane hopping than a single slower car. If they are going slower than the other vehicles around them then stick to the left or middle lane. No need to be in the right lane to begin with (unless they are turning right).

              • +1 vote

                @stuckster: I get your point, but I think what your failing to see is that the rules are there (or in this case, not there) for a reason. I get that you think it's 'courteous' to move out of the right lane, but it is also not required to do so. The rules provide a baseline so that everyone is aligned. By having your own set of 'rules' and expecting everyone to follow you are creating the problem yourself.

                On your point on causing congestion and stopping flow of traffic - in streets with a speed limit of 80 or under, it's generally traffic lights, driveways, kerb side parking, and basically everything else on the road that stops flow of traffic more than the driver who stays on the right lane.

              •  

                @stuckster: They are in a hurry because they don’t allow enough time. I have no sympathy for anybody like that unless they have flashing lights

      • -1 vote

        A lot more salty down voters since covid started.

      •  

        OK, my response is that the multi-lane road has to have a speed limit of more than 80, not 80.

    •  

      Here here.

  • +2 votes

    OzSocialCommentary.

  • +4 votes

    In my day to day life honestly, most people stand to the left, only a handful standing 2 abreast or standing in the middle. Definitely not enough to waste my energy worrying about.

  • +8 votes

    Imagine making a post about this ..

    • +6 votes

      Probably made it during the extra 20 seconds the escalator right took, due to having to stand and wait behind someone, rather than walk up it

  • +13 votes

    Science says that if everyone stands on an escalator more people per unit time can travel on it. People that walk will speed up their own trip, but take up several steps on one side so it's less efficient for everyone overall.

    For escalators that aren't full, it is indeed a dick move. Slightly.

    •  

      Well said

    • +3 votes

      I would expect for this to hold true, you also need a steady stream of people joining the escalator at the same rate as it moves… Aside from train stations immediately after disembarkation, this is kinda rare.

      Just stand left if you think the escalator is a ride to be enjoyed.

    • +2 votes

      Similarly, if everyone walked on the escalator it would also be faster for everyone.

      • +2 votes

        It's not. On very busy and long escalators in mass transit stations you can have one person every second stair if they stand. If you walk you take up three stairs.

        https://www.insidescience.org/news/faster-commute-stand-dont...

        •  

          Yep, walkers take up 3 stairs, but they take them up for less time.

          That simulation is for the a specific train station in the UK where I think 70% of people stood while 30% walked, so the walking side did not have full capacity of walkers, and there were long queues with and without walkers.

          In a shopping centre, where there is a queue of 0 or perhaps 3 people max, it's faster for on average if standers stand on one side.

          It's all a bit moot though - if more people walked, we'd have a healthier population, have more hospitals beds available, shorter wait times for hospital admissions, and at something like 60% walkers vs standers the escalator time would be faster for everyone (at long escalators with long queues, as per the train station used in the simulation).

          Why take away the incentive to walk?

    •  

      Science,, any references?

  • +2 votes

    Why Do People Stand on Escalators and Hold up Others Instead of keeping to the side? Instead of standing to the side so others can pass

    because they arrived 5 seconds earlier than you did. you should have walked a little faster shouldn't have you?

  • +26 votes

    "Excuse me" works wonders

    •  

      Often gets a good eye roll to go too.

    •  

      Not in peak hour from public transport as most people are wearing headphones and unable to hear.

  • +3 votes

    Because signs. (Eg. In a big city like London and Hong Kong) inform people to stand on the right.

    Our cities here are small in comparison and no signs.

    Looks like someone done maths, showing standing on both sides gives great throughput https://blog.revolutionanalytics.com/2016/01/because-its-fri... 🤷

  •  

    Most cases people are ignorant and not paying attention, listening or watching their phones… Same in cars!! People day dream and do not pay attention or care/think about others. Perfectly normal/common. In most cases a polite 'excuse me' is all it takes to alert them. In cars people sometimes don't even hear an ambo siren or see flashing lights behind them, so don't be surprised if they genuinely don't hear your 'excuse me'. I think only a small minority would stubbornly ignore you and knowingly not let you pass. Those people I tend to keep distance from in any case and wouldn't want to come within 1.5m. doesn't do it from being bloody annoying when you're in a rush!!

    My per hate: In the main Street of my little town there is no room to pass when people attempt a reverse park say. You patiently sit behind someone watching their sad attempts, watch them drive to the next huge space and try again… And in the mean time the traffic light at the end of the street has gone green/red multiple times as you seeth flames when they eventually succeed and I'm late for my appointments.

  • +2 votes

    Not everyone lives in Sydney

  • +7 votes

    Also if you are running late it’s nobody’s fault but your own. Allow more time for your escalations😜

  • +5 votes

    People should keep left in all aspects of walking. I hate having to do the dodging dance when approaching a corner and someone is coming the other way and both are sticking close to the corner. If I'm walking around a corner to the right, I walk on the left, in a wide arc, to allow anyone turning the corner from the opposite direction to keep left just like driving on roads.

    Many years ago in Sydney they had painted lanes on the footpath in the city with directional arrows to encourage pedestrians to keep left.

    Another peeve, coming back to escalators, is when some places have the up and down escalators placed opposite to the "keep left" direction, so you walk to an escalator expecting to be at the correct end of it, only to find your at the wrong end.

    Edit: geez I sound old.

    • -2 votes

      I didn't realize there were any such rules?

      Who do you think you are demanding that people keep out of your way and specifically to the left?

      People from the US might argue to the right.
      Just shows you have never traveled overseas.
      So tunnel visioned.

      The bottom line is that people should be considerate.
      Not to obey your unreasonable set of rules.

      • +1 vote

        The person you're replying to is talking about being considerate. Obviously there is no rule about where people must stand on escalators or footpaths.

      •  

        Just shows you have never traveled overseas.

        If you're handing out international flights, sign me up. Just book it a few years in advance pls

      •  

        LOL

        I didn't realize there were any such rules?

        Of course there aren't such rules, never claimed there were.

        Who do you think you are demanding that people keep out of your way and specifically to the left?

        I'm not demanding, I'm giving an opinion. And not "people keep out of [my] way" but "people keep out of each other's way", which is why I sometimes take longer routes. I should have added "in Australia" in case it wasn't clear that we're talking about Australia in an Australia-based forum.

        Just shows you have never traveled overseas.

        As a matter of fact, here's a very relevant photo I took on my last trip to Japan: https://imgur.com/a/oDUTDuK

        So tunnel visioned.

        Yes, the sign was in a tunnel in one of the train stations. You must have seen it too! Or did you disregard it?

        The bottom line is that people should be considerate.

        Exactly, glad you see it now.

    •  

      Many years ago in Sydney they had painted lanes on the footpath in the city with directional arrows to encourage pedestrians to keep left.

      Even outside the CBD, there are shared paths for cyclists, pedestrians, skateboarders and the like. These are all marked trying to keep people on the left. Still, I find that half the pedestrians I see don't respect the markings. If it weren't for the fact that I've seen a few near misses due to people veering away from where they're supposed to be walking, I wouldn't really care.

  •  

    Ignorance. Like drivers not moving up and blocking you getting into a turning lane at traffic lights or blocking an intersection.

  • -2 votes

    I notice in Brisbane city people often stand on the left. Plenty of people stomp up past them on the right, including me. A quick "excuse me!" helps reinforce or train this behaviour.

    Some people treat escalators as an amusement park ride. This often happens in Westfield centres. These people can not be shaken from their shopping stupor.

    •  

      Interesting that you say an "excuse me" reinforces or trains this behaviour… I would have thought it be good manners to say that. It will not reinforce or train anything.

  • +1 vote

    To asert dominance

    • +5 votes

      i think people that get worked up over being held up for an extra 20s have more to worry about …

      •  

        Those people probably have a greater curiosity about life

  •  

    different states have different norms… ie in vic most stand to the left, in sa, all over the place.

  • +7 votes

    If you wanted to walk, use the stairs.

  • +3 votes

    Seems to me that OP is the one that has it all wrong

    People generally do stand to one side.
    If not you just say excuse me as you pass by.

    And mostly people are happy just to stand on the escalator and ride it up/down.
    Obviously its no so easy if someone has bags of shopping or a stroller or trolley.
    But thats life

    So whats the problem with OP?
    Are you in such a rush all the time that you must push past people or are you so fat that you cannot pass comfortably.

    Either way its YOUR problem