I haven’t had the problem in a group yet. Nonetheless, I can assure we aren’t the sorts to get engulfed in our phones and act like we don’t see handicapped in need of the space. From what I can remember, I’ve only ran into this issue when I was alone. The wheelchair + helper and I shared the space. It was a bit cramped and hard for me to exit when I needed to, but it is what it is.
You do make a good point. Normally, if it’s later in the day and we’re on the train, it’s because we’re just too exhausted to ride home. However, exhaustion doesn’t really trump handicapped. We also love giving each other crap and bantering, so someone calling someone else out is likely to happen.
Another reason I personally stay away from the standing area one door down from the end is because the bike gets filthy and the chain can really get us into trouble if it came in contact with the wrong person. Not saying I would rather avoid a bad encounter and stand in the handicap area, but I have good reason to break the 2x bike rule.