Dutch Subway Slide: An Exercise in Efficiency

Leave it to the Dutch to turn a playground feature into public-transit innovation. Next time you’re tripping down a set of dirty, crowded subway stairs in your city, just remember that there’s a better way. The Dutch are calling it a “transit accelerator.”


The Pop-Up City blog writes:

It’s officially called a ‘transfer accelerator’ by Dutch railway maintenance company ProRail, but everyone else would say it’s a slide. An awesome slide. Installed next to a stairway at the newly renovated railway station Overvecht in the city of Utrecht, the slide offers travelers the opportunity to quickly reach the railway tracks when they’re in a hurry. But above all, the slide is a great instrument to make the city more playful. The ‘transfer accelerator’ was designed by Utrecht-based firm HIK Ontwerpers, and installed as the final piece of the renovation of the Overvecht railway station.

Chicago’s CTA Tattler blog is already soliciting opinions from Chicagoans on where they would put one in the Windy City.

So what about New York?

Union Square? Grand Central?  Wall Street?


How long until that thing is crusted with gum?

Eric M. Jones

In the US they would put barbs and barriers on the slide AND the railing.

Why do you suppose the top 20' is covered?


I think this would be fabulous. I also think someone would find something to sue over - pedestrians at the bottom getting knocked over, kids horsing around, creepy guys waiting for women's wardrobes to malfunction, etc


That would be an easy fix, they would hire slide guards to regulate the slide users. One at the top would manage the line while one at the bottom would assist riders to move on.

Dave Johansen

This is a fun idea, but it can't be efficient. I imagine it would be hard to get more than 1 or 2 people actively using the slide at any given time. It seems that it would have been more efficient for it to end in a way that was basically already a standing up type of position, but from the image it looks like standing up will be a bit of a choir.

Luke Anderson

Who cares if only 1 person can be on it at a time if it's 10 times faster? I'd rather wait 10 seconds and ride for 2 than wait for zero seconds and walk down for 20.


Then you are not most people. c.f. The people that drive around the parking lot looking for the closest space.


Law suit waiting to be filed from American Idiots. However, it's an incredible idea.


for every adult who wants to be a kid again


Again? Some of us never grew up in the first place :-)


Wouldn't put this in business districts. Would never use this while wearing nice clothes. Riding a metal slide has got to be disastrous for a suit.


@Eric. The first 20 feet are covered so knuckleheads don't go down standing up. I think this falls into the "only in Scandinavia" category. Fifty percent of Americans don't have the abs to get up at the bottom, and would be piling up with spiked heeled kidney shots.

Eric M. Jones

Or to keep bicycles, skateboards, etc. off.


I can imagine the disclaimer on one of these in the US. Would be awesome to slide from top level of Grand Central, but you'd have to avoid the crowd of lawyers waiting for you on the bottom...


Great til some drunk pees down the slide at 4 AM


Amazing. How ingenious of the dutch.

VB in NV

Given its recent slide, how could it go anywhere but Wall St.


So instead of a dirty subway station garbage getting on just my shoes, it will get all over my clothing


Errm, how would it scale? 5 people sliding down the thing one after the other without a sufficient gap will definitely bump into each other?


PATH station at WTF in NYC