OK, so I’ve finally seen the modified test train in the flesh. Here’s a short video explaining the changes.
Both the video and a Flickr slideshow are over on the PTUA web site.
I think it’s okay. In an age where people struggle just to squeeze on board the train, this design encourages people to move-in from the doorways and make more space, at the expense of some seats. And more importantly, the design around the doorways should improve dwell times and allow more trains to run on the tracks when the new ones are delivered.
But they’ve tried to allocate a space to keep clear behind the driver’s exit door, which I think was a mistake; it just clutters up the carriage, and people are unlikely to stand clear of it when the train is crowded.
PS. That’s something else the London underground and other metro systems have: fast-loading trains with fewer seats…