'Keep to one side' escalator policy may need a relook

Like commuters in some cities in China, train commuters in Singapore should no longer be encouraged to stand on one side of the escalators at MRT stations (Guangzhou subway operator tells commuters to stop 'Keep Right' rule on escalators; ST Online, May 2).

As stated in the report, the practice of making people stand on one side has led to escalators malfunctioning more often, thus shortening their lifespan. In addition, allowing other commuters to walk on the other side of the escalators could be dangerous as they could easily trip over.

As suggested by the Guangzhou subway operator, commuters in a rush should just take the stairs.

The elderly and the young here should not be expected to move or give way when they are on an escalator.

An adult should always hold on to a child's hand on the escalator, and both should hold on to the handrail.

Similarly, if a caregiver is assisting an elderly person on the escalator, it is dangerous for the caregiver to give way to passing commuters.

I have observed people in a rush glaring at the elderly or other people for "blocking" their way on escalators.

Such escalator rides usually take about only 10 seconds.

This expectation to give way on escalators should not be demanded, especially when safety is at stake.

Yah Jun Yang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 07, 2018, with the headline ''Keep to one side' escalator policy may need a relook'. Print Edition | Subscribe