In an interesting and ingenuous approach to looking after their weary travellers, the Swedes have come up with an alternative means of conveying them between the levels at subway stations right across the capital city of Stockholm. When a suspected manufacturing defect led to 39 escalators being shut down, after an elderly woman unfortunately fell through a faulty step and badly injured her leg, athletes were utilised to carry people up the stairs instead if they so wished.
The accident occurred on Saturday, 14th February at Ostermalmstorg underground station, resulting in the precautionary action being taken to avoid the potential for similar incidents, until investigations had been undertaken into the problem. In the days afterwards, 'SL' who are the company that looks after the public transport system in Sweden's capital, brought in additional members of staff to look after commuters as they instead walked up the stationary escalators. Some stations added the additional service of offering water to passengers as they reached the top as a form of 'drinks station'.
The network have been carrying out an internal investigation in partnership with the company that are the manufacturers of the escalators in question, 'MTR'. However, sensing an opportunity that was too good to miss out on, the sports brand Reebok have sought to increase their profile and hired athletes to transport particularly tired commuters up the stairs at Ostermalmstrog, a station that has some of the longest escalators in the transport system of Stockholm. The blatant PR stunt has not however gone down well with all commuters, with some complaining that they have been delayed as a result.
Reebok's press officer Charlotte Wik outlined to Swedish newspaper Dagens Media why they had got involved, saying that "when we saw that the escalators were standing still we decided that we could make a difference."
The athletes that have been involved are people who regularly attend the gym Fit4life Crossfit, and have been persuaded to 'enlist' for the civic duty as an alternative to their usual daily workouts. Reebok currently have a slogan that they believe fits well with their stunt, entitled "Be More Human." #Athletics #Society