In searching for this image I read an article that TTC had removed these signs from the Toronto system. Sad.

Escalators aren’t rides. They’re intended to speed the process of getting from one floor to another. They’re not an excuse to stop whatever you’re doing and engage in a heated, philosophical conversation with your chums. Hold the railing and keep walking, people. Or, if you must stop, at least move to one side!

I wouldn’t even mind so much, if I could just figure how to ask those in front of me to step aside without giving offence. Anyone have any advice? I’ve tried, and it’s either the tone of my voice or my choice of words – but every time I ask to get past, I get a sneer or a heavy sigh.

And it’s not just surly teenagers. I expect it from them. But I was flummoxed by a group of 50-somethings who I asked to pass only to hear them mumbling behind me “Are you any further ahead?” as I approached the next bunch of blockers down the line.

To answer the question, yes. slightly. But if you’d all just stand to the right like the rest of the civilized world (Don’t try to stand in the walking lane in Asia. You’ll be trampled!) I would be MUCH further ahead.

It’s gotten to the point that, if stairs are available, I’ll use them instead. At least people on stairs are moving.

I remember when I first rode the subway in Toronto as an adult – when my sister lived there – and she pulled me out of the walking lane and pointed to the signs posted along the escalator rail: Stand right. Walk left.

I wish those signs were more common. People clearly need a lesson in escalator etiquette. Just don’t get me started on the people who mill about in front of the escalator trying to decide whether they want to change floors or not.

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2 responses »

  1. I absolutely agree with your point that escalators are not rides.

    People who block the way on escalators are selfish and ignorant. There is no other explanation.

    It is common sense, common courtesy, logic, that if you decide to stand, do so on one side to allow space on the other side for people who do not wish to stand to continue moving up/down.

    Whenever I encounter these selfish people on an escalator, I give them a cold and firm “Do you mind standing to the left? Because you’re blocking the way for other people.” (Here in Sydney, we stand on the left, and walk on the right) I say this quite loud to attract everyone’s attention around me to the person who is obviously in the wrong. It may seem harsh and they may feel embarrassed, but they deserve what they get. Works every time.

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