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WMATA: “We ask customers to refrain from walking or running on our escalators”

by Prince Of Petworth July 10, 2012 at 10:30 am 129 Comments


Photo by PoPville flickr user Nikoo’s Photos

“Dear PoPville,

Tired of constantly having to ask people to stand on the right, I wrote WMATA to suggest that they post signs instructing escalator riders where to stand and where to walk. All I can say is…seriously?!”

Original email to WMATA:

It would be a tremendous improvement to MetroRail if there were signs posted at the top and bottom of each escalator instructing riders to “STAND RIGHT, WALK LEFT”

Similar signs at airports have greatly improved the safety and speed with which people move through an area (which in turn would improve WMATA service for all).

This easy fix is especially important given the high number of tourists in DC who have no idea that they should stand on the right.

“STAND RIGHT WALK LEFT” signs would also improve the image of WMATA in the eyes of DC residents by demonstrating WMATA’s interest in implementing a ready solution to the ongoing problem of escalator congestion.

Response from WMATA Rail Customer Service:

Thank you for contacting Metro’s Rail Transportation Customer Service regarding escalator protocol. While standing to the right on escalators and leaving the left side open for walkers has been an unwritten rule for regular Metro riders, a safety code for elevators and escalators prohibits any signs except required safety warnings.

WMATA does not encourage walking or running on escalators. The majority of escalator-related accidents occur when customers walk or run on escalators. Standing is the safest way to ride an escalator. We regret the inconvenience caused by customers who may block the escalator passageway; however, for your safety and the safety of all customers, we ask customers to refrain from walking or running on our escalators.

Thank you for your suggestion and for your patronage. To speak to a Rail Transportation Customer Service Representative for Comments, Complaints or Suggestions, please call 301-562-4605 weekdays between the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. You can leave a message at all other times or complete the comment form located on our website at www.wmata.com.

Any chance the safety code can/will ever be amended? Council Member Bowser? Council Member Wells? I can understand asking customers not to run on the escalators but explicitly asking them to refrain from walking on the escalators is outrageous.

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