People walk off of a subway train at a Brooklyn station Nov. 18, 2020, in New York City.Spencer Platt / Getty Images file
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the largest transportation network in the United States, has decided on Thursday cut ties with the platform owned by Elon Musk after Twitter asked the MTA to pay $50,000 per month to continue accessing the platform’s application programming interface (API).
The MTA serves 15.3 million passengers across an 8,000-square-kilometer area surrounding New York City, Long Island, New York state and Connecticut. However, the MTA has recently experienced two instances in the last two weeks where its access to Twitter has been inadvertently interrupted.
In response, Shanifah Rieara, the MTA’s acting director of customer service, released a statement saying, “The MTA does not pay for technology platforms to post service information and has created redundant tools that provide real-time service alerts. Riders on subways, buses and commuter rails can still get real-time service information on MTA’s phone apps, MYmta and TrainTime, its website and on WhatsApp. This move by the MTA highlights the importance of having reliable sources of information to customers, and the need to invest in infrastructure that is both reliable and cost-effective.
The MTA will no longer be posting service information on Twitter, though the @MTA app will remain active and customers will still be able to tweet to MTA accounts, including @nyct_subway, and get responses. The MTA’s decision to suspend the use of Twitter to post service alerts highlights the utility’s need for reliable communication tools to ensure the safety and convenience of its passengers.