Wednesday, May 31, 2017


NJ Transit Executive Director Steven Santoro refused to meet with Mayor Vic Deluca, South Orange President Sheena Collum and a group of other local officials Tuesday when they showed up to demand changes to the planned diversion of Midtown Direct trains to Hoboken this summer.

But Deluca and the others vowed to fight on with plans to attend a state legislative public hearing set for today on the issue in Newark.

You may recall when the transit agency announced that all Midtown Direct trains would go to Hoboken in July and August because of Penn Station improvements, Deluca and Collum penned a joint letter slamming the idea and requested a meeting with the agency. 

That meeting was first set for last Friday, then pushed back to yesterday. But when NJ Transit asked for another postponement to Wednesday, Deluca and Collum would have none of it, vowing to show up at 2 p.m. Tuesday and wait as long as it took for a meeting.

But when they arrived at the NJ Transit headquarters in Newark, along with officials from Millburn and Livingston -- as well as Assemblyman John McKeon and State Senator Richard Codey -- they were turned away.

Several, however, said they planned to attend a state Assembly hearing set for 10 a.m. today at the Smith Public Safety Building, Essex County Government Complex, 60 Nelson Place in Newark.

NJ Transit has said a June 7 meeting is possible.

Deluca also posted this statement on Facebook:

NJ Transit is so off-track. We showed up at 2pm as planned and Transit treated us disrespectfully by refusing to meet. They did not have the guts to come down to speak to us. 

We had former Governor Codey, Assemblyman McKeon and elected officials from Maplewood, South Orange, Millburn, East Orange and Livingston. 

We are not deterred. Wednesday some of us will testify at a Joint State Senate and Assembly Committee. The hearing will be at 10am at the Essex County Public Safety Building.
We will regroup and continue the struggle. Thank you for your support.

In addition, Collum posted a lengthy video on Facebook Live that included comments from Deluca, as well as her own description of the scene. See it below:

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