Originally Posted by James Shields
That said, I'm not sure what benefit low floor gives to Metro North. I was recently in Manchester and the trams there are all high floor, with high platforms.
There are two related issues.
* Level access (no vertical step between platform and carriage interior) - it means everyone can access the service (wheelchair users, prams, wheel suitcases) and better for everyone else as boarding and alighting is quicker and safer. Having straight or near-straight platforms reduces the horizontal gap between platform and carriage interior. Carriage suspension systems can be a frustrating factor.
* Low floor - this means it is compatible with existing infrastructure and new infrastructure can be put in place easily, with less need for ramps, lifts, etc.