Stories

City Human Rights Commission to examine sex-segregated bus line

The New York World's reporting on Brooklyn's B110 bus results in action from city government

The B110 bus is a private line operating under public franchise

Melissa Franchy/Special to The New York World

Following our story yesterday on the sex-segregated bus in Brooklyn, the New York City Commission on Human Rights said it will look into the issue of alleged discrimination on the B110 line.

Our story revealed that Hasidic passengers on the B110, a city franchise bus that is open to the public but run by a private company, were insisting that women ride in the back of the bus to prevent the physical contact between members of opposite sexes that is prohibited under Hasidic tradition.

Two details not noted in our original story: Commission on Human Rights spokeswoman Betsy Herzog had recommended that the woman who was forced by other passengers to move to the back of the bus file a complaint. The Commission also has the power to initiate complaints itself, to conduct tests and investigations to determine if discrimination has occurred, and to litigate to enforce anti-discrimination law.

“We do intend to look into it and find out if discrimination is taking place, because that is illegal in NYC,” Herzog said. “The bottom line is if they are found to discriminate they must stop.”

A driver observed and interviewed by The New York World did not intervene when a woman accompanying this reporter was forced to move to the back of the bus. The New York Post subsequently sent its own reporter, who was told by the driver, as well as passengers, that the front of the bus was reserved for men.

The commission’s decision to examine the reports follows the New York City Department of Transportation’s pledge to reach out to the bus line’s operator, Private Transportation Services, about the incident.

Gothamist obtained DOT’s letter to the company’s president, Jacob Marmurstein, which you can find here: