Feasibility of upward evacuation by escalator - An experimental study

Naoko Okada*, Yuji Hasemi, Shuji Moriyama, Emi Okamoto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A series of on-site experiments are conducted on the upward evacuation by escalator of groups of 50 subjects including 12 simulated aged people. Two escalators, 49.5m long and 22m tall one, and 12.3m long and 5.7m tall one with parallel stairs in a large convention facility in downtown Tokyo, were used. The experiments revealed the following 1. Upward walking velocity on a still escalator, 0.78-0.79m/s for normal subjects, is nearly identical with that on normal stairs. 2. Upward walking velocity on an escalator running at 0.50m/s is reduced by 5 - 10% from that on a still escalator. 3. Upward walking velocity is virtually independent from the distance from the entrance within the range of 22m in height for normal and simulated aged pedestrians in spite of the height and length of each step significantly larger than those of stairs. 4. Effective flow coefficient at the entrance is around 1.15persons/ms for a still escalator and 1.78p/ms for a one running at 0.50m/s.5. The effective flow coefficient at the entrance of an escalator is reduced by the increase of the escalator length for the local congestions generally seen in long escalators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-862
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Issue number668
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • Escalator
  • Evacuation
  • Fire
  • Group
  • Instant-senior
  • Underground

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering


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