Mayor Jim Watson is apologizing for cracking a joke about the city's LRT system amid chronic transit problems in the city.

“I wish to apologize sincerely for the self-deprecating comments I made last night at an event,” Watson tweeted Thursday morning. “These were not intended to minimize the significant challenges that commuters have faced since the launch of LRT.”

“I strongly believe that LRT is the right investment for Ottawa’s transit system, economy and environment. I want to thank Ottawa residents for their patience, as we continue to work on improving the system’s performance issues.”

Watson's apology comes after criticism of his attempt to make light of the ongoing issues with LRT at an awards gala Wednesday night.

"Sorry I was late, I was waiting for the LRT," said Watson while at Ottawa Tourism's 24th annual Stars of the City recognition evening.

The crowd erupted in laughter, gasps and applause. Watson followed up by saying 'that was the end of the LRT jokes.'

After weeks of delays and issues, for thousands of transit riders, many said the persistent problems are not a laughing matter.

Reaction has been pouring in on social media. One user thought it was funny, but early to be making jokes.

Others were not amused.