Friday, May 26, 2017


We reported earlier this week on Mayor Vic Deluca and South Orange Village President Sheena Collum penning an angry letter to NJ Transit and Gov. Chris Christie opposing plans to divert all Midtown Direct trains to Hoboken during July and August due to Penn Station-related repairs.

The letter sparked the transit agency to agree to meet with Collum and Deluca today to discuss the matter.

But the meeting has been postponed to Tuesday to allow more local officials and state representatives to be involved. See an updated letter on the meeting plans from the two municipal leaders issued today below:

Elected Officials from Morris & Essex Transit Hubs Express Anger at  Governor Christie, Amtrak and NJ Transit – Meeting Postponed Until May 30

Maplewood and South Orange, NJ (May 26, 2017) Mayors and other elected officials have galvanized together following Governor Chris Christie’s announcement on Tuesday afternoon that a deal was struck with Amtrak relating to needed repairs. The deal provides that the Morris & Essex train line’s Mid-Town Direct service will be suspended for an 8-week period over the summer and diverted to Hoboken where commuters will have the option of PATH trains or ferries.  Significant delays and extended commute times are expected.

“They devised a plan without consulting local officials and commuters and now they are figuring out how to deal with the political blowback,” said Maplewood Mayor Victor De Luca.  “We were prepared for a meeting this Friday with the Executive Director of NJ Transit which has now been delayed, go figure, until next Tuesday.  We will be prepared with our colleagues from other affected communities next week to make the case that Midtown Direct riders should not bear the full brunt of the repairs at Penn Station.”

Mayor De Luca and his counterpart, Village President Sheena Collum of South Orange, wrote a joint letter to Governor Christie and NJ Transit following the announcement here noting, “Train riders from our various communities will have their personal and professional lives disrupted dramatically and the proposed fare discounts will not make up for the missed time with their families and the negative impacts on their business dealings.”

“South Orange is the busiest station on the Morris & Essex Line serving over 4,000 riders a day and I had to learn about these changes that affect my residents by watching a press conference.  No communication and certainly no transparency,” said Collum.  “I’m not disappointed in our meeting being pushed back.  Since the letter Mayor De Luca and I drafted on Wednesday, we’ve managed to partner with Congressman Payne’s office, Senator Codey, Assemblyman McKeon, Assemblywoman Jasey, Essex County Freeholders along with Mayors and elected officials from Orange, Livingston, West Orange, Summit, Morristown, and Millburn.  A few extra days gives us more time to mobilize other elected officials and their respective communities and we look forward to sharing more information with the public after we meet next Tuesday.”

No comments: