Cars

149. It is permitted for a man1 and a woman to travel alone together in a car as long as the following conditions are met:

a. The car has clear (not opaque or tinted2 ) windows that allow passersby or the passengers in a passing car to see inside the car.3 This would be equivalent to a Pesach Posuach which serves to permit Yichud.4

b. They are traveling only during daylight hours in a place where there are passersby who can clearly see inside the car, or during the evening where there is street lighting and a constant stream of pedestrians or traffic.5 However, if they are in a place where there are neither pedestrians nor traffic, then a man should not travel alone with a woman in a car — not even by day. For example, it would be prohibited to take a ride in a quiet country spot where there are no pedestrians or steady stream of traffic.

c. During the evening, even if there are few pedestrians but the streets are well-lit and there is a steady stream of traffic, one may be lenient. However, where there is no stream of traffic, even if the streets are well-lit, one should be stringent. Therefore, very late at night when there is no traffic, a woman should not travel alone with a man even if there is street lighting. If once in a while6 there is another car passing, one may be lenient if necessary as long as the streets are well-lit. However, on side roads where there is no traffic at all, one must be stringent even if the roads are well-lit.7 Since the number of passersby, traffic flow and street lighting vary from place to place, one should always consult a Rav in case of doubt.

150. Let us consider a case in which there are more than two people of different genders in a car, and they are traveling in a place where there are neither passersby nor a steady stream of traffic, which would create a problem of Yichud. The halachah is as follows: a) one woman riding with two men is permitted both during the day and at night, (however, lechatchilah one should have three men), and b) one man riding with three or more women is permitted both during the day and at night.8 However, it would be prohibited for a man to travel with two women in a place where there are neither passersby nor a steady stream of traffic.

151. Even if there is no question of Yichud, if a man and a woman are traveling alone, it is correct that the woman sit in the rear if the man is driving (or vice versa) for tznius considerations. Furthermore, they should not engage in prolonged conversation.9

152. Wherever possible, a man should avoid traveling alone with a woman in a car, even during the day and even if there are passersby, for tznius considerations.10

Public Transportation

153. One may travel on public transportation even at night as long as there are passersby.11

154. On a bus that travels through areas where there are neither passersby nor a steady stream of traffic, there must be the presence of at least one man with three women or one woman with two men in order to permit Yichud.12

155. Let us examine the case of a woman traveling in a bus or taxi together with other people, and in the course of the trip she is left alone on the bus together with the driver. If they are in a place where there are neither passersby nor a steady stream of traffic — as above — then she is obligated to leave the bus or taxi. However, if this could be dangerous, she may continue her trip.13

156. On an underground subway train that has connecting doors from one car to the next, there is no question of Yichud since there is a Pesach Posuach. However, late at night when there are very few people on the train, it would be advisable both for reasons of tznius and safety that riders change cars to a place where there are other people.

School Buses

157. Girls may travel to and from school in a school bus driven by a male driver.

158. This applies even if the first girl picked up and the last girl to be dropped off are alone on the bus with the driver. The reason is that the windows on the bus act as a Pesach Posuach and there are passers by.14

159. Schools that arrange trips for students should be well aware of the Yichud issue. They should not rent a bus with a non-Jewish driver to take a group of girls to a place where there may be a question of Yichud. It would be correct for another man, such as the school principal, to travel with them.15

Taxis

160. A woman who urgently needs to travel at night with a taxi should preferably be accompanied by her husband or other shomrim. If this is not possible, she may travel in a taxi as long as the taxi belongs to a reputable company in the city, the roads are well-lit, and there is a steady stream of traffic on the road.16

161. A woman may not take a taxi through a deserted area where there are neither passersby nor a steady stream of traffic. However, in difficult circumstances three women may be permitted to take a taxi through such areas (even if the driver is not Jewish) as long as the taxi is from a reputable company.17

162. After weddings or other women’s social events or shiurim which finish late at night, adequate arrangements must be made for the women return home with no question of Yichud. It is best that the women arrange rides among themselves, or at least that they order a taxi with a female driver. Where this is not possible, three women should take a taxi together. Where even this is not possible, a woman may order a taxi as long as it is from a reputable company, the roads are well-lit, and there is other traffic on the road. However, a woman may not take a taxi alone at a time when there is no traffic.

163. Great care must be taken when traveling between bungalow colonies or out in the country. In general, the country roads are poorly lit and are quite deserted at night. A woman who visits her friend in the next colony may not return alone with a male driver. In such a case the woman may be permitted to return home either a) together with two other women18 or b) with a single shomer, as long as the taxi is from a reputable company.19

164. A woman who needs to take a taxi to visit a mikveh should preferably travel together with her husband. If this is not possible, she is allowed to take a taxi alone as long as the drive is through well-lit streets and at a time when there is still traffic on the road. However if there is no traffic, then she must take along another shomer. The best alternative is for her to order a female taxi driver. It is important that a woman not neglect the Yichud issue in an effort to conceal her visit to a mikveh.20

165. In general, whenever possible it is preferable that a woman request a female taxi driver.21

166. It is preferable whenever possible to ride in a taxi that has a dividing window between the driver and the passenger.22