NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The subway and its ongoing issues are now part of Campaign 2017.

Mayor Bill de Blasio was slammed Friday, accused of ignoring the plight of straphangers and defending his gas guzzling SUV rides to a Brooklyn gym.

It was back and forth, back and forth as the mayor paced in the plaza at City Hall, CBS2’s Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reports. Nervous energy? Perhaps he needed more of a workout after his two-car convoy ferried him from Gracie Mansion to his Park Slope gym?

Or was he worried about city straphangers?

De Blasio was criticized again Friday after service on the C train was suspended for much of the afternoon due to signal problems at Jay Street Metro-Tech.

“There’s 70,000 delays a month compared to 28,000 delays in 2012. And our mayor is simply turning a blind eye,” Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said.

Or was the mayor worried because Malliotakis, his Republican challenger, took the crisis with the trains to his doorstep – the City Hall subway stop, where she charged he has not made fixing the subway a priority.

“This is his city. This is a subway system that runs through his city,” Malliotakis said.

She claimed that instead of putting city dollars into the MTA capital budget to fix the signals and make critical repairs, de Blasio went on a hiring spree.

“Sixteen thousand employees to add to the city payroll – 16,000 employees. He’s doubled the amount of special assistant,” Malliotakis said.

Although on Thursday, the mayor did say he would propose his own subway repair plan if the governor didn’t.

“We need a plan. We have a crisis,” he said.

But he wasn’t talking Friday.

Meanwhile, on the radio, the mayor again defended his gym habits of using two gas guzzling SUVs to drive him 12 miles to work out in Brooklyn, and not using mass transit.

“I again challenge the premise that this is a burning issue. It’s not a burning issue,” de Blasio said. “I think this has been really painted in an unfair light. I’m going to do what I think is going to help me be effective and stay connected to the neighborhood I come from.”

So while the mayor got to City Hall in his SUV, Malliotakis tweeted a picture of herself waiting for the W train to arrive.