New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it will no longer post service alerts and information on Twitter, citing doubts about the platform’s reliability. It’s directing riders to its website, apps, and email or mobile alerts instead.
“We’ve loved getting to know you On Here, but we don’t love not knowing if we can to communicate with you each day,” the MTA account tweeted in a thread on Thursday evening. “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.”
The MTA acknowledged this was a “big change,” and a separate MTA service account alluded to the reasoning in a followup tweet. “Our access to publish service alerts was suspended last week and again this week,” the account explained, directing people to contact the operators via WhatsApp and iMessage instead. Bloomberg reported that Twitter had asked the perpetually cash-strapped MTA to pay $50,000 a month to continue operation.
Earlier this month, the MTA was one of numerous accounts that had its automated service alerts disrupted by changes to Twitter’s application programming interface or API. Along with San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and a number of disaster alert accounts, it was temporarily locked out of posting service updates as part of Twitter owner Elon Musk’s effort to charge for API access. Separately, while the MTA didn’t cite this as a problem, Twitter has also become more turbulent as users attempt to parse Musk’s confusing rollout of paid verification — which has made it more difficult to judge which accounts are trustworthy.
That’s unfortunate for riders. Service alerts are one of the most consistently helpful services Twitter — until recently — provided, and although the MTA’s other options can fill the gap, it’s a loss for the agency and the microblogging platform alike. As of publication time, the MTA has not joined Dril and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Bluesky.
So far, other major transit agencies have yet to leave — including BART, the other large system that was disrupted. “We are continuing to use Twitter while closely monitoring the situation,” media relations manager James Allison told The Verge after the MTA’s announcement.
April 28th, 11:30AM ET: Added reporting from Bloomberg and statement from BART.