In a letter to the Department of Transportation, the company that runs Brooklyn's B110 bus, which mostly services the borough's Hasidic community, claims that it "does not support, promote or condone any conduct involving the segregation of its passengers to various areas of the bus based upon gender." This can only be true if the company has no familiarity with how the bus has been run for the past 40 years, a dubious assertion. As first reported by the New York World last week, female riders are expected to sit in the back of the bus, and men in the front. This policy was codified in signage on the bus:
Guidelines, posted in the front and the back, said that “when boarding a crowded bus with standing passengers in the front, women should board the back door after paying the driver in the front” and that “when the bus is crowded, passengers should stand in their designated areas.”
And while some reporters investigating the bus were merely scolded by other passengers for failing to comply with the seating arrangement, "[o]ne furious B110 driver refused to drive until a female Post photographer changed seats in the half-empty bus," according to the Post.
Anyway, whatever happened in the past, no such policy will exist in the future, the company now insists. "We will undertake to confirm our policy of non-discriminatory conduct with our drivers and other Company personnel," the letter to the DOT reads. "In addition, we will be placing signage on the buses which confirms these policies and sets forth the prohibition against such discriminatory conduct."
In short, women and men will now be allowed to sit anywhere they want to. Of course, riders can still voluntarily segregate themselves in accordance with their religious beliefs, and that's what will happen 99 percent of the time.