NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City subway riders who rely on Twitter to track the MTA’s service updates may be impacted by a new Twitter policy.
In a new Twitter policy, the social media platform will begin charging the MTA to tweet service alerts using a specific automated feature.
Early this year, Twitter announced that starting on Feb. 9, the platform would no longer support free access to its application programming interface, also known as API. This interface is what allows for real-time service updates to go out.
Toward the end of March, they released a new paid tier structure for the tweets but did not specify when access to accounts would be lost. Access to Twitter’s API system could cost companies and public agencies that use it close to $500,000 a year, according to reporting by WIRED.
This weekend, the MTA’s real-time service alerts went out for a period but were eventually restored.
“The MTA is appreciative that Twitter has historically understood the importance of its role as a platform for public service messaging and has traditionally not looked at it as an opportunity for monetization,” MTA spokesperson Aaron Donovan said in a statement.
“This weekend’s outage was sudden, and rectified expeditiously by Twitter, underscoring their recognition of the importance of this public service information for MTA customers.”