Sex-segregation policy on Brooklyn bus line to end, operator pledges

Following our report last week on sex segregation aboard the B110 bus line in Brooklyn, the company operating the route has agreed to take action to end the practice, Assemblymember Dov Hikind (D – Borough Park) told the New York World.

“They told me they are changing the policy verbally yesterday,” Hikind said, referring to the B110’s operator, Private Transportation Corporation. “When you get on that bus, you will sit wherever you want just like any other public transportation.”

Last week we reported that a female passenger on the B110, a city franchise bus line, was forced by other passengers to move to the back of the bus in order to comply with the Hasidic prohibition on intermingling between members of opposite sexes. Following the report, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) sent a letter to Private Transportation Corporation warning that a policy of sex segregation “would constitute a direct violation of your franchise agreement and may lead to termination of that agreement.”

The letter directed the company to respond to the DOT by Oct. 26 with an explanation of what steps it would take to end the practice.

Today, the DOT sent us a copy of Private Transportation Corporation’s response.

The company wrote that it was in full compliance with the terms of its franchise and “does not support, promote or condone any conduct involving the segregation of its passengers to various areas of the bus based upon gender.” It agreed, however, to take steps to “confirm our policy of non-discriminatory conduct” with its drivers and staff, and to post signs in B110 buses that prohibit discriminatory conduct.

Seth Solomonow, a spokesman for the DOT, said that while the agency was “pleased with the operator’s response, we will follow up with them regarding their proposed actions to prevent incidents like those that were recently reported in the press.”

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