A New York bus service that makes women sit in the back may be shut down. City authorities say the Brooklyn bus service operated by Orthodox Jews and makes all women sit in back to comply with its religious beliefs. The Private Transportation Corp, which operates the city’s public B110 routes under a franchise arrangement, has come under criticism for its recent practice.
New York Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Gastel said the agency’s executive director Anne Koenig has asked the company to respond to the allegations and was waiting for a response.
“Please be advised that a practice of requiring women to ride in the back … would constitute a direct violation of your franchise agreement and may lead to termination of that agreement,” Koenig wrote.
If such a violation is found, the contract could be revoked, the DOT stated.
Bus Service Makes Women Sit In Back Story Published At Columbia University
The B110 makes its run through the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Borough Park that are heavily populated by Orthodox Jews. The seating practices got attention this week after a student reporter at the Columbia University published a story about a female rider told by other riders to sit elsewhere and to give up her seat in the front.
Other news outlets then sent reporters who encountered similar situations. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a Wednesday news conference that gender separation is not permitted. “Go rent a bus, and do what you want on it,” he stated.
The public route has been franchised to the same service owners since 1973 and is not subsidized by city money. No exemptions have been granted to the company to comply with the city’s anti-discrimination standards.