City Threatens to Shut Down Bus That Separates Men, Women

Mayor calls practice an "outrage"

Thursday, Oct 20, 2011  |  Updated 9:54 AM EDT
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If the bus line doesn't start complying with the city’s nondiscrimination laws, its contract could be terminated.

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The city has threatened to shut down an Orthodox-run bus service in Brooklyn unless it stops forcing women to sit in the back of the vehicle.

Backed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who called the segregated bus an “outrage,” the Department of Transportation sent a letter to the B110 bus owner stating that forcibly separating men and women was discriminatory, thereby violating the operator’s contract with the city.

If the bus line doesn't start complying with the city’s nondiscrimination laws, its contract could be terminated, DOT wrote.

At least two female reporters have tried to sit in the front of the bus and been told to move to the back.

In one case, a New York Post reporter said the driver refused to move the vehicle until she moved to the back of the bus.

Although the bus operator, Private Transportation, serves primarily Orthodox Jews, it is open to the public, which means it must comply with city regulations.

The DOT said it was not going to permit any violation of equal opportunity laws on religious grounds, reports the Post.

The company’s contract with the city dates back more than 30 years. The operators declined the Post’s requests for comment.

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