Unwritten Policy Requires Women To Sit In The Back On One NYC Bus Line

CBS 2's Reporter Told Repeatedly To Move; DOT Launches Discrimination Probe

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An investigation has been launched into possible discrimination on board some public buses in New York City.

Women are being asked to move to the back of the buses. CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown found out first hand on Wednesday when she took a ride (see video below).

Boarding the B-110 bus in Borough Park, Brown had no problem sitting right up front. But after several stops one passenger informed her that she needed to move to the back of the bus.

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The reason, the passenger explained, was the B-110 caters to the Hasidic Jewish community running between Borough Park and Williamsburg and tradition calls for men and women to be separated.

The bus driver then asked Brown to move as well. When she resisted he seemed confused but returned to his seat.

But, one by one, passengers continued to approach Brown, telling her she could not sit in the front and needed to move to the back.

The B110 is a public bus and looks similar to other city buses. Riders pay an amount equal to Metropolitan Transportation Authority fares of $2.50, cash only, no MetroCard.

But it is what’s known as a franchise route, meaning a private company pays the city for the right to provide the public service.

After getting several complaints from passengers who had experiences similar to Brown’s — the Department of Transportation now says it is investigating the bus company — Private Transportation Corp. — for discrimination.

In a letter to the bus company’s owner the DOT says its been made aware of “serious allegations” and advises the owner that “(the) practice of requiring women to ride in the back, or allow passengers to harass women who choose to ride in any part of the bus, is not permitted on franchise buses…”

The letter goes on to say any such practice is a direct violation of their agreement.

Brown visited the bus company for its side of the story but was told no one would be available to answer her questions until next week.

A stern Mayor Michael Bloomberg was blunt about the policy.

“That is obviously not permitted,” he said, adding it may be permissible if it were a private bus.

The bus company pays the city $22,000 to operate the franchise service. The DOT says it has reached out to the company and expects an explanation, as well as a plan to prevent future cases of discrimination, by Oct. 26.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • Randy

    You have to be kidding me..this is the dumbest of all dumb things I have seen from a selected sect of New York Jewish faith. As a non Jew living in a Jewish house, if I even thought about asking my Jewish girl friend to ride in the rear of the bus I would be sleeping with on eye open..

    For some reason some Jewish men think that they are placed on earth to make Jewish women their slaves and baby makers…What is more amazing is the Jewish women allow this crap to be even suggested if not put on them. It’s like the signs in Williamsburg where woman have to step to the side to allow men to pass… Give me a break..Come on women you have the right to vote, smoke in public, hold a job that pays more then a man and have children when you want them and how many you want. This is AMERICA not some third world country and if the cowardly men who think they are God and treat you like second rate citizens don’t like tell them to shove off. You were brought to your knees in the late 1930’s and 1940’s, you don’t have to live this way in 2011, in New York City which is still part of the United states of American the land of the FREE not land of the suppressed like in Brooklyn and Queens.

  • unbiased point

    Thepeople were NOT harrasing her AND they werent even aware they were being recorded! They werent even requiing her to move they just asked her and when the bus stopped, that was thebus driver who thought the seperation was required. The people were clearly unaware that the bus isnt private, thsts why they chose this bus. The men arent forcing the woman to sit in the back. It is a choice on both parts of the men and woman.

    • JImmy Dore

      Yeah, turns out that is illegal. So as reasonable as you think you sound, you are 100% in the wrong. Someone telling you to move to the back of the bus is by definition harassment What if there as a bus route that asked all the Jews to sit in the back of the bus?

      Smarten up and quit trying to pass of flawed thinking as logic.

  • a boro park woman

    This is not discrimination, it is strictly to keep the men and women seperated but not as underclassman, thoughit may appear that way. woman that use the bus most of the time understand this and do not mind. Though it SHOULD be a choice.a bo

  • David

    They should walk if they don’t like the rules.

    • JImmy Dore

      Turns out its you who should move to a new country if you don’t like the rules here.

  • Dan Te

    Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat.

  • Pam Gellar

    They’re Secret Muslims, softening us up for the imposition of Sharia Law!!!

  • Jerry_Leigh

    I wish that Rosa Parks were still alive, so that I could invite her up to Brooklyn, to ride the B110–she’d probably love it, after all these years. Just a few days ago, the City was removing signs, in Williamsburgh, which instructed women to get off the sidewalk if a man approaches. I wonder if all those buses from Monsey, that seem to be everywhere, practice the same policy–how about it, Ms. Brown? And while you’re at it, visit New Square, New York, where they have separate sidewalks for men and for women (even the Saudis don’t go that far), the women aren’t allowed to drive (there’s good money to be made for non-observant women chauffers), fire and building codes are unenforced (it’s worse than Cairo), and the rebbe’s goon squads make the Saudi religious police look like dilletantes. Holder should dispatch federal marshalls, or something–the local politicians are too scared because they vote as a bloc, like good little cultists, the way the rebbe tells them to.

  • Cathy

    Traditions that make women into second class citizens are not defendable in America. We are all equal under our law, which is NOT religious law. To all “devout” men of whatever religion preaches women are not men’s equal- and there are too many- do not dare tell me or my daughters or sisters where to go, what to put on, what to eat, or who we may or may not speak to. Period.

    • IgnoranteElephante

      You are absolutely right, except for one thing. Judaism trumps all. No other religion, no claim to civil right or liberty, no protest movement or common cause, nothing is more important than us Jews.

  • EMC

    Last I looked this was the 21st century so why is there any excuse for this archaic practice being defended. If the Hasidic group wants to segregate transportation then they must own/operate and fully pay for the busses.
    This very same issue came up a few years ago with a Rockland County bus service where Jewish women who were not Orthodox refused to be segregated.This bus service actually had put up a curtain between the men’s and women’s sections. Just as in this case, the bus service was told that they would lose the subsidy if they did not desegregate the busses.

  • Rosa Parkstein

    I lwill sit in the front next time.

    • badman


    • RRS

      To bad Rosa Parks wasn’t Black and Jewish then maybe the 2011 Jewish woman would have pride in herself…………

  • VY

    I’m a life long Jew, born of a line of life long Jews going back to ancient times. We a long time ago gave up the idea of sexual segregation and have still maintained our ability to be active proud Jews who bring up Jewish children who grow up to look for and married other Jews.
    The actual physical separation barrier or fence used in an orthodox schule to separate the sexes is calleda “ma-cheetza”.
    I tell people, only partially meaning it as a joke, that “ma-cheetza” is an old Yiddsh word which means “women to the back of the bus”.
    Now I know it’s not a joke anymore.
    The other joke definition of “ma-cheetza” is “subjugate women because men can not keep what they are supposed to inside their pants”.
    Nothing good came out of the way eastern european Jews we treated by the governments they lived under pre WW2.
    There is no reason to worship the lifestyle and dress of dirt poor, discriminated against, small town eastern european Jews based on the 500 years prior to WW2.
    Learn about it, study it, yes.
    Emmulate it toady in modern times, absolutely not.

  • TFB

    in the 1050’s rosa parks was made to sit in the back of the bus a protest was formed in 2011 a black woman was ask to sit in the back of the bus whats the difference ………..BECAREFULL WHERE LOOK AT THIS AND WHERE IT IS GOING

    • TFB

      correction in the 1950″s becarefull jews look at where this is heading this is a public bus not a religous bus

  • PL

    This is the media discovering religion.

    Most reporting on religious stories is done by reporters who don’t go to church (synagogue/mosque/whatever – coven). I would suspect most had a some type of religious upbringing. Since they are now guardians of the public’s right to know, they feel that their religion would bias their reporting and actively go to lengths to disparage religion.

    • KPMc

      What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

  • Joe of B'hurst

    It is a public bus service, getting grants from the MTA & US DOT. Do you really think a bus company could purchase a 1/4 million dollar bus and maintain it on a fare of $2.50.

    Make it a private charter bus {and not receive gov’t supplements} and then do want you want.

    Are religious customs (sexual segregation) followed when you take a Sabena jetliner to Antwerp, to purchase diamonds? I don’t think so!

  • Meme Meyagi

    what is done about 7 million mooslime terrorists living in usa?

  • I HATE ezPass Toll Hikes $12, its a shame

    I m proud American born Muslim and i do support all my Jewish cousins on this issue.
    It is not discrimination to ask someone to change seats on a bus, whats wrong with respecting the religious and customary practices on a bus that services a mostly Hasidic community. Was anyone disrespectful to her? This is not the 1950′s, no one forced her or arrested her. If she felt uncomfortable, she should, for overreacting to a unenforceable courtesy rule. No different from giving your seat to a disabled, elderly or pregnant person on a bus.

    • Brian


    • Leslie M

      I respect your opinion, but the issue here is that it is a PUBLIC bus. If it were a private bus then this would be fine, but it is not. Any space that is open to the public, like a bus, is subject to all laws against discrimination.

      And it IS different from giving your seat up to an elderly, disabled or pregnant person. In those cases it is done voluntarily.

  • John

    This is what the city does to get around a problem they have no guts to solve…the Jews want the city service but also want to be treated special….what does the city do it farms the bus svc out!!! Make in private or city bus!!!!

  • rich

    According to the article, the bus company “leases” is route, so I doubt that there is a different bus to ride on the same route. Hasidic people have a right to sit in the back if they want, but do not infringe upon non-hasidic people by pressuring them to comply.

  • Dave Ryan

    freedom of religion or lack of it, a public service needs equal rights

  • ry

    This is so impossibly illegal it isn’t funny. This is a felony Not just for the driver but the owners and managers. Once an NJ tranist conductor opened a separate car for a religious family. After I told him to open the car to everyone or he would be fired within the. He immediately complied. They all KNOW this illega..

  • Landscaping Unlimited

    This is America live by the rules of law or get the hell out!
    If someone told my wife to move to the back of anything they would find themselves sitting is some cutter!
    This kind of tradition makes me sick.
    God bless America

    • DarthEVaderCheney

      God bless America and you talk like that? These Hasidic Jwish people are American citizens! As for you throwing anyone around, little coyote, you obviously need 60-90 days in the slammer to cool your jets!

  • G. Gordon Witty

    This is NOT a debatable issue. If it is public transportation, then no special requirements or discriminatory practices – end of story. If the bus company cannot comply, then their contracts with the city should be immediately terminated.

    This is as basic common sense as it gets.

  • Tricia

    How is it discrimination to ask someone to change seats on a bus, whats wrong with respecting the religious and customary practices on a bus that services a mostly hasidic community. Was anyone disrespectful to her? This is not the 1950’s, no one forced her or arrested her. If she felt uncomfortable, she should, for overreacting to a unenforceable courtesy rule. No different from giving your seat to a disabled, elderly or pregnant person on a bus. Common courtesy in NY, what a novel thought.

    • nrichard

      It IS NOT COMMON COURTESY – this is not about respecting someone’s religious practices – this is about LAWS! Laws that many people died to get passed so that YOU could live the life that you live!
      AGAIN – if you want to live in a country that uses women like animals – GO BACK AND LIVE THERE!!!!!!

    • Joe of B'hurst

      It is a public bus service, getting grants from the MTA. Do you really think a bus company could purchase a 1/4 million dollar bus and maintain it on a fare of $2.50.

      Make it a private charter bus {and not receive gov’t supplements} and then do want you want.

      Are religious customs followed when you take a Sabena jetliner to Antwerp, to purchase diamonds? I don’t think so!

    • jayne

      I guess the blacks riding the bus in the 1960s should have been more courteous too and followed long established southern customs. Can you spell DISCRIMINATION.

      The reason they want women separated is because they believe women are unclean at certain times of the month and they’re afraid to touch them. If they don’t want to sit with the women, they should walk or get their own bus.

  • Alex Gerard

    This story is appalling. Women should be allowed to sit anywhere they want on any form of public transportation!!!!
    (Unless, of course, they’re black, jewish or hispanic.)

  • Hob Lunk

    Why not require the MEN to sit in the back of the bus? Wouldn’t that conceivably solve the problem, or is it beneath men to sit in the back?

  • Gene

    To Saltine and other Anti-Semites:
    This is a private bus company working for the city. It serves to Hasidic community and as such could observe some codes and regulations which are custom among Hasidic Jews. When Saltine, mention that Hasidic Jews deprive city and government money funds by utilizing Medicaid, Section 8 and so on, I would like to tell her, look at your black and Latino brother and sisters. They occupied the welfare offices all over the country. They pushed drugs on the streets and keep crime high. This is a PRIVATE bus that serves JEWISH community. You do not like it, ride regular public bus, or follow the rules of Jewish bus.

    • DarthEVaderCheney

      Ohhhh Broooooother! Be damn glad you have a bus…jewish bus/jewish rules, my a$$!!!

    • Joe

      Gene – The reason this is different is that the bus route is a franchise, which means the company is paying the City in order to provide a public service. A franchise agreement comes with non-discrimination laws – the frnacises must abide by the same rules as any public service does, even though they are operated by a private company.

      If the Hasidic community would like to pay a private company for a bus where men sit up front and women sit in the back – that is completely legal and nobody would stop them. This bus is essentially public because of the franchise agreement and is listed on MTA bus maps.

    • racehlb1

      Sorry, but your are sadly and ignorantly mistaken. This is not a privarte bus but one that has a contrant with the CITY– i.e a municipalilty of New York STATE– which means that the GOVERNMENT s promoting the religious practice of a specific denomination. This is the United States of American discrimination is not permitted in any form of public accomodation.

      You can required men and women to sit separtely in SHUL– that is private space. NOT ON A PUBLIC BUS- run on a FRANCHISE contract with the city.

      If you are offended by women on the bus, get off and walk!!!

    • Joe of B'hurst

      What is customary among the Chasidic community should only be observed by such. Don’t take funding from the government, and try to make this a private bus. This is a public bus.

      Why point the finger at blacks and Latinos? Who created these laws? Who defends these criminals? Who profits off them? Who smuggles in the drugs? Who promotes porn.? Who rips-off Wall Street? Who files fraudulent insurance claims? Who created block-busting?

      For a religious movement that may be only as old as this country—I think you are borderline cult. Get a decent haircut and get a job.

    • Danny

      Gene, If you do not like the laws here, move to the middle east my friend. The last time I checked, Brooklyn is an AMERICAN community, not just jewish. We do not want to live in the stone ages.

  • Johnny

    It doesn’t discriminate against just women because they tell men to sit in the front of the bus. I bet if a man was to sit in the back they will tell him to move as well.

    • Coyotenose

      Might want to Google “Rosa Parks” and “Separate But Equal” to see what’s wrong with that argument, Johnny.

      • Joan

        Separation of state and church in all things in this country. There are other bus lines that operate throughout the City that are run by private companies under the aegis of the City and which are indistinguishable from MTA-run buses. They manage to comply with all MTA rules. This bus company obviously bent the rules to comply with the majority of their passengers. And, as long as it didn’t infringe on anyone’s rights, it went unnoticed. Non-Hasidic paying customers should not be required to give up any rights just because the majority has demanded they do so. I’ll put money on the fact that once the investigation is concluded, this bus company will be required to comply with MTA regs and the Hasidic community will start running their own local transportation. Isn’t that what they did with the ambulances? By the way, I’m Jewish and I think this practice is unconscionable and should be stopped.

  • Gerald Waldman

    If the Hasidic community insists that women ride in the back of the bus, then they should be running a PRIVATE bus line and not be allowed to pick up the general public and charge them, nor be allowed to use public bus stops.

  • UncleJoe

    The company should have seen this coming since it is servicing the public. They also must be concerned about losing alot of business from Hasidic people. At any rate let the Hasidic people wake up to the reality of living in can any one say America ??? {:>)

    • John Striker

      hey its fair– after all we are allowing the Mexicans and other Latino countries dictate what language we have to speak — that being Spanish in an English speaking country

      where do they have the right to tell them they cant force women to the back of the bus.. when this is going on?

      • Coyotenose

        Citations of anyone being forced to speak Spanish, please.

      • Huh

        John, when was the last time you were forced to speak Spanish? Open your mind a little…its a big world out there…IDIOT!

        • Joe of B'hurst

          I want to get a job as a social worker, teacher, border patrol agent, or car service dispatcher. I must know Spanish, to get the job.

          • KPMc

            Social workers cover a wide variety of social services. Knowing another language would probably be helpful but spanish is not a requirement.

            Teachers have no such requirement unless they are teaching… well.. spanish…

            Border patrol agents also work to the north… as in Canada. Spanish not necessary but french might be if you work by the Quebec border.

            Car services are private companies. Some are bilingual in spanish, some in russian, others just speak Brooklyn-ese.

            But all is moot as I suspect you are qualified for none of those jobs.

  • MN

    It’s a public service and provider(s) MUST abide by the law of the land. Hasidic – and like discriminating customs – must not be tolerated when performing public service.

    The discriminating practice is not new and you see it on public streets in Hasidic neighborhoods. In regard to the bus route, the Hasidic took care to kept the fact that this route was available to the public QUIET!!!

    It’s a shame it took this long for the discrimination practice to surface.

  • Nick

    If the stupid sh/ts wants to live in America, they follow AMERICAN rules, not their own stupidity. If they want their old country stupidity, GO BACK to the old sh/thole country they came from.

  • Eileen Tracey

    Any Religion is the ruination of mankind.. Hypocrites of the worst kind..

  • agape

    Are you kidding me??? Take your caveman thoughts, ideas and behaviors and go back to where ever they were developed from. Goodness for real people this is the 21st Century already.

  • Saltine



    OH NO NO NO NO NO!!!!


    I just love the way they completely forget to mention these are Hassidics, who incidentally, bilk the gvt out of MILLIONS a year in Food Stamp, MEdicaid and Section 8 fraud. They ALL work for the SAME rabbi, make the same 333.33 a month (to get the MOST in Food Stamps), they all pay their rent to this rabbi and this same rabbi signs all their bogus birth certificiates. AND they can’t even be bothered comiing in. to sign on for the benefits or re apply. they don’t like
    “black” people. These pigs send their paid Reps to bring in cases for thousands of these roaches.
    They send their precious inbred boys to Israel regularly and then conveniently forget to tell their Case Workers!!!

    • Tiglath Pileser III

      Jews of all stripes have been running cons on the American people from the beginning. The biggest con of them all is America’s “special relationship” with Israel. We shield them from the enmity of the entire Islamic world but they don’t have to sign a treaty of alliance with us.

      By the way, as far as them not liking “black” people? Who cares? Nobody likes black people. Even blacks don’t like other blacks.

  • John L

    Ancient customs prevent people living in the 21st Century to ride in any section of the bus they want… ridiculous.

    Religion is a fairy tale, with no basis in fact, or common sense.

  • PT

    If They want to adhere to Their religious rules , then They should have a private bus for Hasidic People.

    • Not Quite Virgin Mary

      Thank you so much! Completely agree. This is certainly a “first” for me to hear!

  • Stephen Postullo

    and jewish people think arabs treat their woman poorly

    • t

      Not that i agree with this discriminatory act, but separate seating is not comparable to beating ones wife with a stick! (if you where to compare the two on a stereotypical basis)

    • Gail Jackson

      Cutting off a womans nose because she refuses to marry you or killing your daughter because she becomes a christian or wants to marry outside your faith cannot be compared to not allowing woman to sit in the front of a bus either, although I do not agree with discrimnation of any kind against women.

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