China subway abandons 'stand on right' etiquette

Updated 2018-04-27 14:39:06

Guangzhou is the latest Chinese city to abandon the "stand on the right" escalator rule over safety risk concerns and unnecessary wear-and-tear to equipment.

Commuters are being encouraged to stand on both sides, sidestepping the standing rule of keeping right to leave the left open for those who choose to walk, the Guangzhou Metro announced Saturday on Sina Weibo.

Staff is on hand to enforce the new rule.

"The stepped design means you may trip if you walk on them," Guangzhou Metro wrote, adding subway escalator speeds are above average in order to better accommodate traffic flow.

"Those in a hurry may take the stairs," read the post.

The uneven right-left distribution has also resulted in maintenance issues.

Escalators are frequently out of service because parts wear quicker from the "stand on the right" rule, said a Guangzhou Metro employee.

Provided data also shows that 95 percent of Guangzhou's subway escalators tilt slightly to the right as a result.

Hong Kong's subway operators have been encouraging commuters to not walk up escalators since 2010. Shanghai and Nanjing followed suit.

Some commuters in Guangzhou, however, pointed out stars are not always an option.

"Build some staircases then," commented "xuzi."

"Sometimes we are forced to hurry on escalators-some stations don't even have stairs."

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