The MTA is ending its live transit service alerts on Twitter, effective immediately, after refusing to pay Elon Musk for the privilege.
Starting today, the automated service advisories will no longer be posted to Twitter for the MTA’s subway, bus, and commuter rail passengers. The accounts, including the 1-million-follower subway alerts, will remain active to provide manual customer service announcements, as will the MTA’s main branding account.
The move comes after Twitter’s owner, Elon Musk, announced he would paywall access to the site’s application programming interface for large organizations like the MTA, reportedly demanding more than $500,000 annually for posting capabilities that had long been free and provided a public service.
The MTA’s chief customer officer, Shanifah Rieara, said the fiscally beleaguered MTA would not pay the social media platform to post public information and opined that the platform can no longer be counted on as reliable. She further noted the various other points where riders can obtain information on delays, issues, and snags on their commute.
“The MTA does not pay tech platforms to publish service information and has built redundant tools that provide service alerts in real time. Those include the MYmta and TrainTime apps, the MTA’s homepage at MTA.info, email alerts and text messages,” said Rieara. “Service alerts are also available on thousands of screens in stations, on trains and in buses. The MTA has terminated posting service information to Twitter, effective immediately, as the reliability of the platform can no longer be guaranteed.”
The move comes after the world’s second-richest human removed “legacy” blue verification checkmarks on Twitter, eliminating what had previously been a tool to verify a notable user’s identity and instead providing a check to anyone who pays $8.
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