In another time, the recent Red Line delays would just be another example of America’s crumbling public infrastructure. But this is election season!

Faced with complaints about an independent transit agency he can’t control, Mayor Vince Gray‘s Twitter team deflected questions about the delays onto Ward 4 councilmember and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board member Muriel Bowser:






Bowser, who’s running to replace Gray, tells LL that she’s eager to take riders’ complaints about the transit agency. After all, she says, she handles her responsibilities (the implication: unlike certain mayors who will go unnamed).

Bowser insists that she’s not accusing Gray of passing the buck. Instead, she accuses him of worse. “I think he’s scratching for relevance,” Bowser says.

Not that Gray is without his own appointee on the Metro board, having nominated Tom Downs, the board’s current chairman, to represent D.C. in 2011. Why doesn’t Gray take his concerns to Downs?

Mayoral spokesman Pedro Ribeiro says because Downs is meant to be an independent board member, District residents are better off grousing to Bowser. Who, Ribeiro adds, should spend less time talking about tweets and more time trying to fix the transit agency.

“Maybe she should ride the Metro once in a while and talk to people on the Red Line, and I guarantee you she’d get an earful from D.C. residents and Ward 4 residents who have to suffer through this every day,” says Ribeiro.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery