Rethinking Escalator Etiquette on the Prague Metro

The transit authority is asking passengers to break one of the unwritten rules of riding the escalators

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas Published on 11.04.2016 11:18:29 (updated on 11.04.2016) Reading time: 1 minute

One of the unwritten rules of exiting the Prague metro is that those who wish to stand on the escalators do so on the right side, freeing up the left side for those who prefer to hike up the moving stairs.

Now Prague’s transit authority (DPP) is asking commuters to rethink their exit strategy, reports

According to a DPP spokesperon, the uneven weight of passengers bearing down on the right side of the escalators is causing too much wear and tear on the tracks, chains, and bearings.

While just a few years ago escalators displayed stickers directing standers to keep to the right, the transport company is currently considering how to persuade passengers to evenly disperse.

Prague may even take its cues from the London underground where a similar issue was solved by giving subway attendants megaphones to help direct commuters.

The general consesus surrounding the idea is not favorable. In a poll conducted by the publication an overwhelming 75 percent answered “no” to the question: Is it reasonable to take the escalators in the subway standing right and left?

Among the more creative solutions proposed by poll takers:

“I suggest buying worn escalators of the London Underground. They will be cheaper and have preserved the right side.”

The transport company says that the new metro rules would also help alleviate the crush that forms at the bottom of the escalators as people exit the metro and stand aside to leave room for fast trackers.

Does it really save time to walk up the escalator? The publication calculated the approximate time it takes to move up and down the escalator while standing at 1:15 seconds; walking shaves about 30-40 seconds off your time.

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