You'll recall that last month a private bus company was allegedly caught requiring female passengers to sit in the back of a public bus that connects the predominantly Hasidic neighborhoods of South Williamsburg and Borough Park. The company, Private Transportation Corporation, pays the city $20,000 a year to operate the bus route, and while the owner denies any gender segregation, several female reporters with different media outlets found that they were expected to move to the back. And though the company promised the DOT this sort of thing isn't happening, the Hasidic watchdog blog Failed Messiah has obtained a hard copy of their schedule that tells a very different story.

A source gave Failed Messiah what he/she says is a recent version of the bus schedule. In the English section of the guidelines, the only mention of gender is this: "When boarding a crowded bus with standing room only, women should be allowed to board first." But there is ample text in Yiddish, which translates thus:

According to the psak [religious ruling] of the rabbis, men should concentrate themselves in the front seats in the first half of the bus, and women in the second half. Under no circumstances will men be allowed to stand in the second half of the bus, among the women, nor will women be allowed among the men in the first half of the bus. When the front part of the bus is crowded with standing men, women are not allowed to board the bus from the front entrance in an attempt to push through between the men [to get to the back of the bus]. If possible, women will be allowed to enter the bus through the back door, after they paid first in front to the driver.

After reports of the gender segregation first surfaced, the DOT fired off a letter to the company pointing out that these regulations were not legal. In response, owner Jacob Marmurstein insisted his company did not tolerate discrimination, and women were always allowed to sit wherever they want. A request for comment was not immediately returned by Marmurstein's office. A DOT spokesman tells us, "We’ll look into it but this isn’t what is published on their Web site and it’s not clear if this is being given to passengers or is available aboard buses."