Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Much Ado About Escalators and Travellators


"Please Stand on the Right" sign prominently displayed along the escalators
in London Tube Stations.

Standing in one straight row not only implies orderliness, but safety as well.

It has been some 13 years since our MRT system was set up in 1997, and yet until today, commuters still do not stand on one straight row either completely to the left or to the right. All these years, I have been saying, "Excuse me, excuse me", especially when I am in a rush to reach a destination. It is basic common sense for commuters to stand on one row if they are not climbing the escalators so that those who wish to ascend faster can have the leeway to do so. This will also enhance safety for all concerned.

I hope the Land Transport Authority will put up signs to remind people to stand on the left or right like the way it is being done in London Tube Stations. Some of the escalators are so long and steep that it is frightening to think what would happen if someone should fall. It may cause a chain reaction like a pack of falling cards!

Worse, some commuters are so careless and chit chat with their backs turned so that when they reach the end of the escalators, they are slow to move, causing risks of injuries to the commuters behind when they fall. Once I fell at the end of the travellator at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station because a group of friends were chit chatting and took their own sweet time to get off the escalator. I was right behind and fell because there was not enough space for me to come off safely from the travellator. My eldest sister who was with me was annoyed and chided the group. Luckily I only sprained my left leg.

Last year, one of my friends, Christine, from England, asked me, "Don't people here stand on one straight line when they are riding the escalators?" I can understand my
friend's exasperation.

I guess commuters don't take heed unless the Authorities put up a signboard to remind commuters to stand on one straight row. If again, commuters don't take heed, there is no alternative but to put up the "FINE" sign again. Sigh!....
Sometimes common sense is not very common, and some people only become cooperative when their pockets are involved.! Perhaps something will only be done only when some kind of serious accidents take place? By then, it will be too late.

For now, I could only make use of my common sense to stand on the left and at least three steps behind the passenger before me. I definitely have to keep my eyes open and be extremely alert at the end of the escalator and travellator. It is also imperative for me to give myself extra travelling time so that I do not feel exasperated with having to call out, "Excuse me, excuse me."

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