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MTA No Longer Providing Real Time Updates Over Their With Twitter On API Fees

New York riders will no longer be able to view updates on Twitter as it has been their source for estimated time of arrival.

New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has ended real-time Twitter service for subway, train and bus riders due to a dispute with Elon Musk-owned platform over API fees. 

MTA is cutting ties with Musk-owned platform, leading to the end of real-time service alerts on Twitter for subway, train and bus riders in New York City’s mass-transit system. 

A person is subway surfing on the 5 train on March 16, 2023, in the Bronx borough of New York City. The MTA has officially cut ties with Twitter as public transportation riders will no longer get real time updates on the platform. DAVID DEE DELGADO/BENZINGA

Twitter was used for MTA rides to get updates on estimated times of arrivals for buses and trains at various stops and intersections.

“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,” MTA said in a state on Twitter. “But we’re not saying goodbye to you, our customers! There are lots of ways to get real-time updates.”

The authority said it would no longer use its Twitter accounts, including @NYCTSubway, @NYCTBus, @LIRR and @MetroNorth, to offer real-time service updates to riders. However, transit system employees will monitor these handles and respond to social media messages. The @MTA account will remain unchanged. 

Riders can still access up-to-date service information through the MTA’s phone apps MYmta and TrainTime, website and WhatsApp.

According to an MTA official, Twitter requested a monthly fee of $50,000 from the authority to access the microblogging site’s API, which allows for integrating multiple computer programs, reported Fortune. 

“The MTA has terminated posting service information to Twitter, effective immediately, as the reliability of the platform can no longer be guaranteed,” said acting MTA Chief Customer Officer Shanifah Rieara in response to Twitter’s demand for $50,000 for the platform.

Earlier this year, Musk announced that Twitter is suspending free access to its API on Feb.9 and instead, a paid tier will be available.  

Musk-owned Twitter’s decision to revoke API access has previously affected public service accounts responsible for providing critical updates and information to the masses. 

Earlier this month, many accounts, including the National Weather Service, were unable to post automated breaking news and events because of the API restrictions. 

Since Musk’s take-over of Twitter, the social media giant has relied less on advertising dollars where it’s focus has been on software as a service platform.

Twitter verified checkmarks includes a fee of $8 per month that includes for various organizations that include a color badge for various organizations. 

San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) had also reported that its access to Twitter’s API system was also suspended. 

MTA isn’t the first company to cut ties with Twitter, as NPR was the first organization to cut ties and stop sharing content on Twitter as it was labeled as state owned

“NPR’s organizational accounts will no longer be active on Twitter because the platform is taking actions that undermine our credibility by falsely implying that we are not editorially independent,” NPR said in a statement after it refused to push new content out.

Produced in association with Benzinga

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