They’re something all big city-dwellers encounter. Those enormous, moving staircases are a staple of mass transit systems– and, potentially, massive headaches.
Most of the time, escalators uneventfully take us from point A to a higher (or lower) point B. But no one deserves a headache over commuters who unwittingly play Red Rover on the escalator, aggressive pushing climbers or groups of friends blocking an entire row, so we asked Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick,founder and president of The Etiquette School of New York, to lay out the basic rules of escalator etiquette for us.
“The rules of etiquette for escalators were devised to make it more pleasant, as well as safe, for the two types of escalator riders—those who like to stand and those who like to walk up or down the escalator,” Napier-Fitzpatrick told Fox News.
“Escalator etiquette is very similar to sidewalk etiquette in that we should always keep to the right to allow others to pass us on our left.“
Here are her top tips for a smooth ride:
Where to stand. Always stand on the right side, leaving room for others to pass you on your left side.
Where to walk. When walking up or down the escalator, pass other passengers on their left side.
Traveling with a buddy? When conversing with a friend on an escalator, stand one step above or one step below them, keeping to the right side of the escalator. The same thing would apply to a shopping bag you would like to place on the steps; it should be in front of you or behind you—not beside you.
Don’t push. If you do chose to walk up or down the escalator, be sure not to brush against anyone when you pass them. If you do, say “Pardon me.”
How to pass politely. If you would like to pass two people standing side-by-side on the escalator, simply say, “Excuse me; I would like to pass you.” (Many people—especially tourists—don’t know our escalator etiquette, so try not to act annoyed with them if they are standing side-by-side, says the etiquette coach.)
Now that you know the proper escalator etiquette, please pass the rules along and help make everyone’s ride between floors more enjoyable.