NANJING, CHINA - Subway system authorities in Nanjing city, capital of China's eastern Jiangsu province, have discouraged commuters from standing on the right of escalators and walking on the left.
"About 95 per cent of escalators are heavily damaged on the right side," Nanjing's metro system said in a recent statement. "We no longer encourage standing on the right and walking on the left. It is more important to stand in a stable position and hold on to the handrail."
Standing on the right of the escalator is a habit many citizens have adopted, Beijing's Morning Post said in a report on Tuesday (Jan 3).
The practice came about as far back as 2002, it said, adding that the announcement that this habit is damaging to escalators has been met with wide debate.
In 2015, Nanjing's metro system said on its official social media account that it no longer encouraged the practice, and instead called for escalator users to "stand stably" and not walk quickly on escalators.
A spokesman for the Beijing metro system was quoted as saying that proper maintenance could solve the problem of wear and tear, and people walking on the left posed no safety risk, the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday.
"Routine maintenance can keep escalators in a good condition and no accident (has) happened before because someone was walking on the left," the official said.