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Rush hour "stair-runners" at light rail stations

2009-11-03 16:41 BJT

The "stair-running" group appears at light rail stations during the morning and afternoon rush hours.

Some who run the stairs are in a hurry and some choose to run the stairs because the escalator is too crowded; by doing so, the "stair-running" group unintentionally does physical exercise.

"The longest waiting time occurs when we enter a station but a light rail train leaves at the same time, so we have to wait for the full six to seven minutes,"said many passengers. The survey shows that along with the increasingly fast pace of life, a growing number of passengers prefer running stairs to taking the escalator. At the Liziba light rail station, at least 100 passengers regularly run up the stairs to arrive at the sixth floor every day. Numerous stair runners could be seen at other light rail stations such as Xinshancun, Mawangchang and Linjiangmen.

Stair runners need two minutes to reach the sixth floor.

"When I was a primary school student, I watched passengers run the stairs at subway stations of Tokyo and Hong Kong on TV, and my parents said that this was a major fact of modern life. It is unbelievable that we lead such fast-paced lives,"said Zhao Yong, who lives at Hongyancun and needs to transfer to the light rail at Liziba station every morning to go to his office near the Jiaochangkou station. Zhao added that he sometimes is in such a hurry that he has to run the stairs. It normally takes about four minutes for him to walk to the rail platform on the sixth floor, but he can cut that time in half if he uses the building's stairs.

Reporters counted 31 steps between the first and second floor, and 24 steps for every floor between the second and sixth floor. According to the staff at the light rail stations, the morning rush hour is between 8:00am and 9:00am every day, during which the number of passengers entering the station are so enormous that the escalator operates at full load. Although the escalator is divided into two parts, a "fast section" and "slow section" to faciliate passengers in a hurry, some passengers in a hurry still need to directly run to the sixth floor because taking the escalator does not save them time when the fast and slow sections are both crowded with passengers.

Reporters conducted a random survey at light rail stations such as Da Ping, Yang Jiaping and Chongqing Zoo and discovered that the "stair-running" group mainly appears during the morning and afternoon rush hours. During the morning rush hours, the majority of the "stair-running" group at each major light rail station is made up of young people.