Commuting By Escalator

A system of escalators in Hong Kong, installed in 1993 to create a new connection between districts, has become an unusual and popular way to commute Hong Kong's steep streets.

The neighborhood the escalator runs through is called Mid-levels.

From the BBC web page: "The Central-Mid-levels system consists of twenty escalators and three moving walkways - and it runs in one direction in the morning, and another in the afternoon."

Video on the BBC website, featuring a lot of footage of the escalator and the "transit-oriented developments" that face it.

Thanks to Adriana

Full Story: Close-Up: Escalator system in Hong Kong's Mid-levels



Restricting steep designs

Hopefully none of their escalators are as steep as one in the DC metro system. It is terribly steep and I fear myself or someone else falling backwards down it. Therefore, I do not want to ride it.

Their are hazards associated with really steep elevators and occasional accidents, although I am sure the numbers are small.


I had a similar experience in Prague - where they move especially quickly to boot. It is a good point to consider so I did a little more looking on youtube.... (it would be great if someone with personal experience of these were to jump in and share impressions)

From youtube videos, it looks as if lower parts of the mid-level system use belt/ramp-escalators with a relatively gentle slope -- you can tell becuase the adjacent stairs have large breaks in them. Further on up it seems to move to more conventional step-escalators.

I find the whole idea very intriguing... but back to the steepness/vertigo, I wonder if it made worse in metro/subway systems by the general monotony of the escalator shaft?

Prague etc.

Yes, it would be interesting to learn how the various escalators are designed and operate. Re Prague, I imagine the experience would be much worse if it were also faster (I would go to an amusement park if I wanted that sort of experience, thank you!) For me, part of the problem is the grade, the second part is the intimidating visual of being suspended on a manmade object going up a tunnel. If you fell backwards, you'd be in trouble!

You mentioned vertigo- I suspect people with medical conditions like vertigo would have a problem with these escalators and may have to avoid them.

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.
Rome grey gold tie

Tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95