December 17th 2018
A campaign to promote the safe use of escalators has begun at Tokyo Station ahead of the year-end and New Year’s travel season.
The Tokyo branch of East Japan Railway, or JR East, launched the campaign at one of the capital’s busiest transport hubs on Monday.
The firm has been using posters to call on passengers to stand still on escalators to prevent falls and boost the machines’ efficiency. But people in Japan tend to stand on one side of escalators to allow others to walk up or down on the other side.
At escalators for the Chuo and Keiyo lines, station staff called on commuters and tourists to stand 2 abreast without walking up or down.
Security guards wearing neon-colored vests walked around making the appeal.
Illustrations of people standing in 2 lines and holding onto the escalator’s handrails have been placed on the floors in front of the escalators. Walls and handrails now carry messages saying such things as “Please do not walk.”
JR East says that on the first day of the campaign, many people were seen walking fast on escalators, but that some stopped walking.
Railway official Ikuo Tomita says his firm wants to spread information on the safe use of escalators throughout society. He says changing people’s habit is not easy, but that his firm will not give up on it.
The campaign will last until February first.