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The Pole Elevator is a gimmick that first appeared in Sonic & Knuckles. It is simply a variant of the pole that can be used for transportation.
The Pole Elevator consists of two parallel columns with a horizontal pole moving perpetually up and down between them, though there some that stand still. In gameplay, the Pole Elevator's purpose is to help the player reach otherwise inaccessible paths. The player can grab onto the moving horizontal pole by simply touching it and ride along with it up to a certain point where the player can just jump off it. Additionally, the player can move right or left while hanging onto the moving pole.
In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, the Pole Elevators received an updated design, where the parallel columns are colored red and blue with a marble on top, though the moving horizontal pole retains its appearance from the previous title.
The Pole Elevators appear only in Sky Sanctuary and its associated Challenge Acts. In the Eggrobo Rush Challenge Act in particular, a variant of the Pole Elevators appears. These variants' columns are horizontal with three or two poles on them that either from side to side on them or stand still. The player cannot move left or right on these kind of poles.