Stand to the left Perth – and make our city better!

Warning: Rant alert

Perth Train Station at 8 in the morning

A foggy morning.

The rain splattered against the skylight in my bathroom so I knew it was raining.


Deep happiness.

I walk into my bedroom to get changed and I can hear this weird rushing sound.

I check to see if the overhead fan is on… or maybe the reverse cycle air-conditioning.


What is that weird sound?

It’s coming from outside.

I check through the blind.


It’s the rain.

The pouring rain.

I’d forgotten what pouring rain sounded like.


The train was packed at a quarter to eight.

Standing room only.

And when we got to Perth Station the train disgorged its damp and steaming passengers into a mass of humanity.

It swelled at the bottleneck of the escalator.

Does this happen anywhere else in the world?

I have only seen it in Perth.

In London, in Washington DC, in New York, in Paris – much larger populations – the commuters flow like a river, a babbling brook.

But in Perth no – every morning – a huge swell of people trying to get on the escalator.

And here’s why.

No-one stands to the left.

There is no fast moving lane to the right.

Crazy town.

It’s the same on the roads, but don’t get me started.

I would love it if someone could stand there – some official in a high viz vest and just educate my fellow commuters.

Stand to left, walk to the right.

It’s a simple message.

And couldn’t we have some posters in the trains or something?

We have posters for everything else.

C’mon Perth – it’s not that hard.

You can do it.


You CAN do it.


7 Replies to “Stand to the left Perth – and make our city better!”

  1. we have similar issues here in Adelaide, although lately I have noticed this stand to the left thing happening more often, so people in a hurry can walk up the right side.

  2. It is certainly stand to the left, walk on the right in Melbourne. In fact, on the really long escalators down to Parliament station, people can get up quite a speed whipping down on the right. You definitely need a community education campaign for Perth. And then if that is successful, perhaps it could be slightly adjusted and used here for footpaths…keep to the right people!

  3. Hmmm, in London (and I think many other places) the rule is definitely to stand on the RIGHT so that people can pass on the left. The reason for this is because most people are right handed and can hold onto the handrail more instinctively if they need to.

  4. First of all –

    Transperth escalators are ALL rapid transit. Unlike those on the east coast – where it isn’t strange to find “wooden” escalators still in operation!

    – it’s not recommended by Transperth for commuters to walk up the escalator while in motion as they are rapid transit and go at a faster speed than those in the east.

    Secondly – are you suggesting that that GIANT group of people piling out onto that escalator in the photo – form 1 line? – that would be incredibly inefficient for all those concerned – they may not be in a rush – but having to form one lane only would cause huge delays in getting people out of an area quickly.

    Third – living in Sydney and Melbourne for work – you’ll find most of the major stations (eg main central stations like town hall in sydney) like how it is in Perth station – the majority of people take up both sides and quite often (even in sydney) you’ll see people take up both sides with no movement on the right simply because of the large group of people exiting.

    you’ll also find that in most of the “non busy” stations such as in the esplanade and other stirling etc – that people do keep to the left.

    The saying “people don’t keep to the left of an escalator” is just another farce spread around as it’s used as a conversation starter with those visiting.

    Go to any city in the world and they’ll tell you that they hate people that don’t keep left/right – claim that their city has the worst drivers in the world and think that crime in their own city is the worst in the country.

    Try it next time you get into a cab – ask the driver what city they think has the worst drivers – and they’ll all tell you the city that they live in has the worst.

    1. Secondly – no I’m suggesting they form two lines – one that is continually moving up the escalator and one where you just stand there and enjoy the ride. That way you will lessen the bottleneck that occurs every morning when the train disgorges its passengers on platform 9. 🙂

      It is more important at “busy” platforms to keep one side moving so that people can exit quickly.

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