The TTC is Asking That We Don’t Walk Up Escalators

Apparently the whole walk-left-stand-right system is inefficient

Walking up escalators is something that TTC users have grown used to — right side is for standers and left side is for movers. I guess you could say it just happened that way.

Now, according to the TTC, walking up and down escalators is dangerous and the transit service urges Torontonians not to do it.

“We had seen some incidents of people slipping and falling on escalators,” TTC spokesperson Stuart Green said in an email to the Toronto Star.

“Our preference is that customers stand on escalators and, if they want to walk, they use the stairs.”

According to the Star, the whole right-side left-side rule actually started about 10 years ago when the TTC posted signs next to their escalators instructing passengers to leave walking space on the left side of escalators. These signs have been taken down, but the habit is still going strong.


Now, you might think that standing on escalators will back up the entire flow of people walking in and out of the subway, especially during rush hour. According to a study done in the UK, however, getting everyone to stand on escalators actually improves traffic flow. The study was done over the span of six months at London’s busiest subway locations.

So, not only is the walk-left-stand-right system a tripping hazard, but it looks like it might actually be detrimental to the swiftness of your morning commute. Tell us your thoughts below.

Photo courtesy of Matt MacGillivray via Flickr.