The real-time service alerts on Twitter by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will no longer be available. It was regularly used by subway, train, and bus commuters in New York City. The authority has decided to sever ties with the social media platform owned by Elon Musk, resulting in the loss of this crucial service for public transport users.
After Twitter asked Microsoft to pay to use its API, it is now asking MTA to pay a monthly fee of $50,000 to ensure access to Twitter's API, an MTA official said. MTA posts on its official Twitter saying:
For the MTA, Twitter is no longer reliable for providing the consistent updates riders expect.
It said goodbye to Twitter for service alerts and information. To continue getting updates, it is offering alternatives to customers.
✔️ Bookmark https://t.co/8rwbuwle0p— MTA (@MTA) April 27, 2023
✔️ Use our MYmta & TrainTime apps
✔️ Look for info on screens in stations and on trains/buses
✔️ Sign up for The Weekender, our newsletter for weekend service changes
✔️ Sign up for email & SMS alerts (beta) https://t.co/NLrVIpqa4U
According to an interview by Fortune, MTA says paying for the API is not the best use of its resources while they have other reliable alternatives for the customers. They have internal and homegrown features and functions. Shanifah Rieara, MTA’s acting chief customer officer and senior advisor said they want to utilize all platforms to communicate with customers, but they want one that is consistently reliable.
MTA has many Twitter accounts to push out updates including @NYCTSubway, @NYCTBus, @LIRR, and @MetroNorth. It immediately suspended the usage of these accounts until further notice. It will continue to monitor the situation and use them to respond to messages.
Twitter has a free tier for API but it's not practical for large clients like MTA. Twitter will complete the deprecation of its older APIs on April 29th. Amidst a $600 million and growing budget deficit, it is not looking to add extra costs.