Actually I was in a small group of transport planners here that got in
touch with the French. It turns out that they have great difficulty
sustaining 30 of those DD trains per hour, only in short bursts and in
reality more like 25 trains per hour. They automated the driving to allow
the attendant to concentrate on the doors and dwell times in order to
improve matters. Now they're considering phasing to single deck. So no,
double deckers don't work on stopping services. The more the stops, the
worse they get. The other problem is that it's difficult filling them to
capacity because people congregate around the two doors for fear of being
trapped inside when their stop comes and it's difficult to move people into
the middle of the gondola. It's also uncomfortable to stand there compared
to a single decker.
Wheelchairs and scooters make no difference on the level access available
on Sydney metro and in Perth - they board and alight as quickly as the rest
of the passengers and within the dwell.
The point is that the metro (and the Perth system) provide both greater
average speed AND greater total capacity, not either-or, and that's what we
need in Sydney. We're going the right direction in NSW. You're free to
choose your own direction in Victoria but I think on the rolling stock
front Victoria is doing it exactly right. I think that you could use some
double deck electric interurban services but that's another discussion.