Mayor Bloomberg isn't sympathizing with Orthodox Jews over the use of sex-segregated buses in Brooklyn.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Bloomberg commented that the practice was "obviously not permitted" and advised:
Private people: you can have a private bus. Go rent a bus, and do what you want on it.
The New York World broke the story on Tuesday detailing an incident when a female passenger boarded the B110 bus, she was told to move to the back in order to be separated from male Hasidic Jews.
A male photographer from The New York Times attempted to visit the back of the bus but was thwarted when the bus driver told him only women were allowed there.
The Times notes that although a private owner operates the bus, the route was provided through a public bidding process, and therefore needed to comply with publicly owned transportation rules. That means no discrimination.
The Department of Transportation threatened to shut down operations for the B110 bus in a letter:
Earlier this month a similar situation occurred when the city's Parks Department ordered for Yiddish signs directing women to step aside for men to be taken down due to their discriminatory nature. The signs read, "Precious Jewish daughter, please move to the side when a man approaches."
A practice of requiring women to ride in the back ... is not permitted on franchised buses. If the company continues to force women to the back, it may lead to termination of the operators’ franchise agreement with the city exception from ... these [anti-discrimination] requirements has been given to your company.