Debate Magazine

"Holborn Tube Station to Trial 'standing Only' Escalators for Six Months"

Posted on the 06 May 2016 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

From The Evening Standard:
Tube commuters will be told to stand on both sides of the escalator at a busy central London station for six months - in a new trial which could pave the way for a permanent change.
Passengers are again being asked to ignore the decades-old "walk on the left" rule at Holborn in a bid to cut queues and ease congestion.
A three-week test run at the station late last year showed 30 per cent more passengers could travel on the escalator if they stood on both sides, Transport for London said.

This is one of those lovely counter-intuitive solutions, it took me a while to suss it out.
The point being, if an escalator is very long, then very few people will want to walk/run up the left hand side and most will wait/jostle in the queue on the 'standing only' side.
Imagine the escalator were so long that nobody can be bothered to walk/run up it and everybody waits/jostles for a place on the 'standing only' side... in that case, making it standing only on both sides doubles the capacity and greatly reduces the time spent waiting at the bottom.
Conversely, if an escalator were very short, most people would be happy to walk up it, so making it a 'no standing at all' escalator would also speed things up.

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