Anyone who has taken the KRL Commuterline during rush hour has probably experienced the free for all rush towards escalators after disembarking their train, especially at the busiest train stations like Central Jakarta’s Tanah Abang.
In a bid to instill more civility amongst KRL passengers, PT KAI Commuterline Jakarta (PT KCJ) is enforcing a bit of escalator etiquette that is already commonly done in many other countries but is still rarely seen in Indonesia: asking those who are standing to stay to one side so that those who are walking can proceed on the other.
Tanah Abang station is going to some lengths to enforce this escalator etiquette. They have put up signs around the station to educate people to walk on the right and stand on the left of escalators. They have also deployed officers with megaphones to instruct passengers to follow the rule.
“We’re still socializing it. It’s already like that in Japan, it turns out (escalator etiquette) makes things more efficient in Japan,” said Tanah Abang Deputy Station Master Deni Setiawan, as quoted by Detik today.
Fadly Ardiansyah, an officer at Tanah Abang station, admitted that it’s still difficult at times to educate some passengers to follow the escalator rule.
“It’s difficult sometimes. Passengers who are employees can easily be told. But for people who are awam (which literally translates to layperson but is also used to describe the poor and uneducated), it’s a bit more difficult,” he said, as quoted by Detik.
PT KCJ Public Relations Manager Eva Chairunisa said rules regarding escalator etiquette have long existed in all of their train stations. However, she conceded that they have rarely been followed by KRL passengers, which led to campaigns to raise people’s awareness about them like in Tanah Abang.
Cynics among us would probably like to point out that it’s 2017 and yet we are still having to educate people about escalator etiquette. But to us, cynicism doesn’t contribute to progress and we welcome any effort made to move society towards becoming more civilized.