The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has decided to end its partnership with Twitter, meaning tube commuters in New York City will no longer receive quick information on service warnings on the site. Twitter’s demand for a $50,000 monthly payment to preserve access to its application programming interface (API), which allows different computer programmes to communicate, sparked the decision.
According to Shanifah Rieara, the MTA’s interim chief customer officer and senior advisor, devoting resources to the proposed amount would be inefficient. Instead, the MTA plans to rely on its own reliable features and operations to provide clients with up-to-date and consistent information. The organisation is devoted to engaging with clients across several channels, but its services require a dependable platform.
As a consequence, the MTA’s Twitter accounts, including @NYCTSubway, @NYCTBus, @LIRR, and @MetroNorth, will no longer disseminate real-time service alerts. Nonetheless, transit system employees will continue monitoring these accounts and responding to messages received via social media. The @MTA account will remain unaffected by this adjustment.
Initially, Twitter announced the suspension of API access on February 9; however, they subsequently introduced a new payment structure in late March. The MTA has reported that Twitter did not provide a timeline for discontinuing access to older accounts.
The MTA faces significant financial challenges, with a budget deficit of $600 million this year, projected to escalate to $3 billion by 2025 when federal pandemic assistance is expected to decline. The state agency hopes that a plan formulated by New York Governor Kathy Hochul and state legislators will alleviate the system’s financial predicaments.
Although subway, bus, and commuter rail riders will no longer receive real-time service alerts on Twitter, they can still obtain such information through MTA’s mobile applications, MYmta and TrainTime, its website, and via WhatsApp.
While this change may cause inconvenience to some Twitter users who relied on the platform for updates, the MTA’s decision is a strategic measure aimed at ensuring reliable and consistent information is available to New York City’s mass-transit riders.