For years, we've been trying to "educate" Malaysians to stand on one side of the escalator so others could pass
However, other major cities are doing the exact opposite by encouraging people to stop the general practice
In December 2018, East Japan Railway Co (JR East) launched a campaign urging commuters to stop walking on the escalator.
Signs have been put up at the Tokyo Train Station and people can now hear an announcement through the PA system that says, "Please stand on both sides of the escalator."
Japan isn't the first country working to undo the long-running social custom
Apparently, allowing people to walk up and down escalators can be dangerous and may lead to accidents
A study by The Japan Elevator Association in Tokyo found that more than 880 escalator accidents in the city between 2013 and 2014 were a result of people riding improperly, which includes walking or running on an escalator.
The guide on the Japan Elevator Association website lists a number of reasons people shouldn't walk on escalators, which include the risk of slipping or falling because you're unbalanced.
"There is a possibility of death or serious injury," the guide notes.
Not only that, if every person decides to stand still on both sides of the escalators, it is mathematically proven to move more people to the top in less time
According to Londonist, a six-month experiment conducted at the Holborn Station in London found that standing-only escalators were able to carry an average of 151 passengers per minute. Meanwhile, on the normal escalator where people were both walking and standing, only an average of 115 passengers would reach the top each minute.
This is because when people are standing still, there is more space on the escalator to accommodate more passengers.
However, these results of course depend on various factors such as the size of the escalator and flow of people.
Do you think we should stop standing on one side of the escalator? Share your thoughts with us here!