If you board the B110 bus in Brooklyn and take a seat towards the front -- and you're a woman -- you might get some funny looks.
The bus that runs between Williamsburg and Borough Park caters to a prominent Hasidic Jewish ridership. It is common practice for women to sit in the back of the bus and men to sit in the front, according to several recent articles about the bus, including one by the New York Times.
The bus, which charges a fare of $2.50, does not accept Metro cards. It is run by Private Transportation Corporation under a city franchise. The New York Post reports the NYC Department of Transportation sent a letter
to the owner of the line, threatening to shut it down if the
The Times reports that signs posted on the bus read “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.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg weighed in on the issue Wednesday, saying that segregating men and women was “obviously not permitted."
"Private people: you can have a private bus," Bloomberg quipped. "Go rent a bus, and do what you want on it."
In Hasidic culture, there is a strong division between men and women in daily life. It was recently reported that signs posted in prominently Hasidic South Williamsburg were removed by the Parks Department. The signs read messages in Yiddish like "Precious Jewish Daughters, please move over to the side when you see a man come across.”