The opening of the City Tunnel was heralded as a huge step for the southern Swedish city’s transition to a major urban area, but two months after its inauguration the local transport operator has felt obliged to explain big city etiquette to new riders.
“We have had a large number of people getting in touch, with a number of demands for how one should behave. It is a question of etiquette and was worthy of addressing,” Ulrika Mebius at local transport operator Skånetrafiken, told The Local on Friday.
The transport operator used its regular sponsored article feature in the local edition of the Metro newspaper to detail the problem and call for change to improve the comfort and well-being of commuters in the city’s transport system.
In the article entitled, “Everyone wants to be first onboard”, train manager Fredrik Adolfsson presents the rush hour reality of his day.
“Sometimes I have to physically hold people back on the platform, to stop them from pushing their way onboad and preventing people from getting off the train.”
Adolfsson argued that the problem is perhaps a result of a new big city, high stress mentality emerging in Malmö, observing that in nearby Vellinge people queue orderly for the morning bus.
He also complained that travellers in Malmö are “lazy” and that all want to get on the first carriage to save the walk up the platform.
While Ulrika Mebius underlined that Frerik Adolfsson would have to stand for his own opinions, she revealed that the City Tunnel and in particular the redesign of the platforms at Malmö central station has perhaps contributed to the situation.
“There is a wide perception that the trains are packed, but in fact the problem is that many have not bothered to move further up the platform and use the carriages in the middle of the train which are often empty,” she said.
Mebius indicated that perhaps the problem is more due in fact to a lack of experience of big city life, which has left Malmö residents ill-equipped to deal with the new means of getting around.
“This problem in itself is nothing new really, but the escalators are perhaps a new experience for Malmö residents – in that you should stand on the right and allow people to pass. We are perhaps less used to this than in other cities.”
Skånetrafiken’s attempts to address the problem and encourage better behaviour among travellers has met with mixed reaction from locals.
“This is down to interpretation. This is a recurring and ongoing discussion and it is stimulating that the the question has engaged people – there are those who agree and others who argue that the situation isn’t so bad,” Ulrika Mebius said.