NYC Transit Agency Pulls the Brake on Twitter Service Alerts
The New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has stopped posting its service alerts on Twitter following a suspension of their access to the platform’s back-end without notice. The decision came after Twitter announced a new pricing system for its application programming interface (API), which enables accounts to issue frequent alerts, and would charge up to $50,000 per month. The MTA’s decision to curtail Twitter usage puts it among a growing number of accounts, including Elton John and National Public Radio, that have reduced their presence or abandoned the platform since Elon Musk acquired it.
The Impact of the MTA’s Decision
The MTA’s decision to stop posting its service alerts on Twitter is already impacting its riders. Commuters, such as Brandon Gubitosa, a Queens resident, expressed disappointment, stating that checking the MTA’s Twitter feed was convenient before leaving for work each morning. The move also caught some MTA officials off-guard and prompted other transit agencies to consider doing the same. The MTA’s decision comes as many institutional users of the platform are struggling with changes that Musk has made in an effort to make Twitter profitable.
Reasons for Leaving Twitter
Aside from the MTA’s inability to afford Twitter’s new pricing system, officials offered other reasons for leaving the platform, including additional vitriol and regulators’ moves to move away from a chronological timeline. In-house applications like MYmta and TrainTime provide the same essential data, offering commuters schedules for the subway and the commuter rail system, respectively.
The Future of Twitter Usage for Service Alerts
In the past, commuters frequently didn’t know about service disruptions until they were already on subway platforms. However, today they have access to electronic sources, available on their smartphones and in stations. Consumer research has suggested that subway riders seek information on Twitter accounts for a relatively small portion of commuters. MTA officials have not ruled out the chance that policy changes might permanently halt the organization’s use of Twitter for service alerts. Communication through social media enables the organization to respond to riders’ questions and concerns in real-time, providing a valuable public window into the MTA’s customer service policy. For the time being, the MTA will continue to respond to clients via Twitter.
Transportation agencies, including the MTA and the Chicago Transit Authority, are considering pulling a brake on Twitter service alerts due to Twitter’s new pricing system. Social media has revolutionized the way transit agencies communicate with commuters, and in some cases, Twitter provides a personalized customer service experience. The MTA’s decision to halt service alerts on Twitter highlights the importance of having a reliable and resilient way of communicating with customers, ensuring they have the most up-to-date information.
As per information from the source, Twitter’s new pricing system could mark the end of an era where private accounts disseminated vast amounts of information for free, requiring a greater investment from institutional users with limited resources to ensure the best customer experience.