GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Public transit officials have apologized to a woman wearing an Islamic facial veil who was turned away from a bus and Friday rescinded a rule banning people with face coverings.
The ban was aimed at riders wearing Halloween or ski masks and officials had not considered religious dress, Rapid bus system spokeswoman Jennifer Kalczuk said. The rule was issued earlier this year so that an on-board camera system could help identify riders if there is a disturbance.
A bus driver told the woman in July that she would have to uncover her veil to board the bus, officials said. She had ridden other Rapid buses previously and was able to board another bus the same day.
Debbie Mageed, a Grand Rapids-area Islamic activist, said she appreciated Rapid's response.
"We can't expect all public domains to be aware of these situations until they actually come up," Mageed said. "As long as it doesn't happen again, I'll feel like they were sincere in their efforts to revise their policy."