The owner of the B110 bus in Brooklyn, which runs between two Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn, insists that despite the fact that women have been told get in the back of the bus for decades, it never condoned the practice. However, since everyone got so riled up about passengers telling women where to sit on a public bus route, from here on out they won't be allowing the segretation they ostensibly never permitted in the first place.
Following an exposé by Columbia University's New York World, the New York City Department of Transportation sent a letter to the ironically-named Private Transportation Corporation, which was actually running a public bus line under a franchise agreement with the city. The city warned that sex discrimination, "would constitute a direct violation of your franchise agreement and may lead to termination of that agreement."
In his response, Jacob Marmurstein, head of Private Transportation Company, wrote that the company "does not support, promote, or condone any conduct involving the segregation of its passengers to various areas of the bus based upon gender." Yet, the New York Times notes that in addition to female passengers being told to move to the back to honor the Hasidic prohibition on intermingling between the sexes, there were signs in the front and back of the bus that read:
"when boarding a crowded bus with standing passengers in the front, women should board the back door after paying the driver in the front" and that "when the bus is crowded, passengers should stand in their designated areas."
Now in response to the uproar over the policy, the company has pledged,
"to confirm our policy of non-discriminatory conduct with our drivers and other Company personnel. In addition, we will be placing signage on the buses which confirms these policies and sets forth the prohibition against such discriminatory conduct..."
A city spokeman says they'll keep following up with Private Transportation Company, just to make sure they don't get confused about policies on their own busses again.
Image via auremar/Shutterstock.