NEW YORK – Service alerts for New York City's subway, commuter trains and buses were back on Twitter on Thursday, a week after transit officials balked at paying to provide the information.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority lost access last week to Twitter’s application programming interface to send out automated alerts about service changes and emergencies. The MTA decided last Thursday to cease publishing service alerts to Twitter, saying it opposed the platform's recent decision to start charging for access to its programming interface.
In an about-face, Twitter said this week it has restored free access to the interface for verified government and “publicly owned” services so they can tweet alerts.
“Twitter got the message and reversed its plan to charge the MTA more than half a million dollars per year for these alerts, so now no transit agency will need to pay,” read a prepared statement from Shanifah Rieara, MTA’s acting chief customer officer.
The country’s largest transportation network began providing service alerts on its Twitter accounts in time for the Thursday evening commute.
The MTA also said last week it was concerned with technical problems that had led to two recent outages of its Twitter alerts service. The authority said Thursday that it received written assurances from Twitter that reliability on the platform will be guaranteed.
An email seeking comment was sent to Twitter’s communications office.
The service alert interruption comes as many institutional Twitter users deal with changes Elon Musk has made in an effort to make the service profitable.