NYC commuters will no longer see service alerts and other informative posts from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on Twitter. The agency runs several accounts that provide passengers with useful real-time updates, such as whether a particular route or train has been suspended. But now it has posted a farewell message on the website, explaining that Twitter "is no longer reliable for providing the consistent updates riders expect." While it didn't elaborate on why it's leaving the social network, Bloomberg says it was because the company was asking the MTA to fork over $50,000 a month for access to its API.
Twitter shut down its old API, which was completely free, earlier this year. It then launched paid access to the new version of its API, with a $100-per-month tier for hobbyists and a much higher tier for enterprise customers. The company kept pricing for enterprise vague, but Wired had previously reported that API access could run as much as $42,000 a month. Companies and organizations other than the MTA left Twitter as a result, with Microsoft being one of the biggest names. The tech giant recently announced that it was going to remove Twitter from its free social media management tool for advertisers. Microsoft also disabled the option to upload screenshots directly to Twitter from Xbox consoles and from Game Bar on Windows.
Shanifah Rieara, MTA's acting chief customer officer, told Bloomberg that they don't think paying Twitter $50,000 a month "would be the best use of resources." Especially since the MTA has other "internal and homegrown" avenues people could use to check for the latest updates. "We want to communicate with our customers through all platforms, but we need a platform that is reliant and consistent and up to date," Rieara added.
The official MTA account is now encouraging customers to bookmark the agency's official website, to download its MYmta and TrainTime apps, to monitor its WhatsApp channel for subway and bus information, as well as to sign up for email and SMS alerts.
For the MTA, Twitter is no longer reliable for providing the consistent updates riders expect.
So as of today, we’re saying goodbye to it for service alerts and information.
But we're not saying goodbye to you, our customers! There are lots of ways to get real-time updates. ⬇️
— MTA (@MTA) April 27, 2023