Is it quicker to walk or stand on the escalator? | The Tylt
Is it quicker to walk or stand on the escalator?
It turns out, the best way to get where you're going is to stand completely still. The London transit authority conducted an experiment in 2015, where it found that if everyone using an escalator stood in two lines, side by side, the moving stairs could carry 28 percent more passengers in any given period of time. That scattered row of walkers to your left prevent the collective body from moving efficiently.
The reason is that when people walk up the escalator, they need more space before and behind them. Think of how close cars can get on a slow city street, compared to how much room they need on the highway. It turns out that the huge amount of space that escalator-walkers need cancels out all the time they gain by walking. They’re putting out more effort and getting a worse result.
This is just unbelievable. Walking is obviously the faster way to ascend an escalator. By walking up the moving steps, you double your speed.
Escalators follow the same logic as the "people movers" you find at the airport. If you walk along the people mover, you will reach your destination faster than if you stand still on the conveyor belt.
Despite the social norm-aspect of having one side of the escalator devoted to standing and the other devoted to walking, this strategy is hindering everyone in the long run. According to Cheddar, the habit of standing on the right while walkers pass on the left can actually increase the likelihood of the escalator breaking down (due to the weight placed on one side of the machine), making it impossible for anyone to reach their destination in time.
If that's not enough to convince you, think about it like this: walkers take up an average of three steps, while standers only take up one. More people could fit if everyone stood side by side, which would also relieve build-up at the base of the escalator.
Even if science is behind the argument for standing on escalators, the world is not going to be able to change. As Cheddar points out, people like to feel in control of their own movements. The option to walk or to stand is vital in reducing stress, no matter where you are going.