NYC’s transport authority will no longer post service alerts on Twitter | Engadget

New York City commuters will no longer see service alerts and other informational posts from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on Twitter. The agency manages several accounts that provide passengers with helpful updates in real time, such as whether a particular route or train has been suspended. But now it has posted a farewell message to the website, explaining that Twitter “is no longer reliable to provide the constant updates passengers expect.” While he did not elaborate on why he is leaving the social network, Bloomberg he says it was because the company was asking the MTA to shell out more than $50,000 a month to access 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 tier of $100 per month for hobbyists and a much higher tier for enterprise customers. The company kept business prices vague, but cabling had previously reported that API access could cost up to $42,000 per month. As a result, companies and organizations other than the MTA left Twitter, with Microsoft being one of the biggest names. The tech giant recently announced that it would remove Twitter from its free social media management tool for advertisers. Microsoft has also disabled the option to upload screenshots directly to Twitter from Xbox consoles and from the Windows Game Bar.

Shanifah Rieara, acting director of customer service for the MTA, said 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 local” avenues that people could use to check for the latest updates. “We want to communicate with our customers across all platforms, but we need a platform that is reliable, consistent and up-to-date,” Rieara added.

The official MTA account is now encouraging customers bookmark the agency’s official website, download its MYmta and TrainTime apps, monitor its WhatsApp channel for subway and bus information, as well as sign up for email and SMS alerts.

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