Like it or not, wicked modern mores may be coming to a group of Orthodox Hasidic Jews who prefer women to ride in the back of public buses. Earlier this week, an article in the Columbia University-run publication New York World shed goyish light on Brooklyn's B110 bus line, which the DOT franchises to a private company, Private Transportation Corporation. It's a public bus, but most of the riders are Orthodox, and they insist that women sit in the back, just like Roslyn Parkstein. Well, yesterday the DOT fired off a sternly-worded letter to the company, and then Mayor Bloomberg dipped his oar in.
Private Transportation Corporation has been paying the city to operate the bus line for years, and tradition dictates that women go sit in the back and use the back door, so that the men aren't tempted by their sexy wigs and thick, sensuous stockings. Yesterday Bloomberg was asked about the controversy, and he told reporters that if Orthodox Jews want to segregate men and women, they should get their own bus. Segregation is "obviously not permitted" on public buses, Bloomberg said, adding, "Private people: you can have a private bus. Go rent a bus, and do what you want on it." You heard the man; it's PARTY TIME!
The Times also took a trip on the B110 yesterday, and when a male photographer tried to take photos in the back of the bus, the driver told him he was not allowed there. "It’s such a normal thing for us that women and men are separate," one woman told the Times. "Most of the ladies go to the back." And area Jew Asaf Amitay, a 35-year-old rider, was not pleased when told that women may soon be coming to the front of the bus. "I don’t like it," he said. "The women is in the back. The men are in the front."