NYC transit agency ends Twitter alerts, says it’s unreliable (Image credit- WGN Radio)
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) of New York City said on Thursday that it would stop using Twitter to provide its 1.3 million Twitter followers real-time information and service alerts, as per reports.
In a statement, the MTA warned that “Twitter is no longer reliable for providing the consistent updates riders expect” and asked its users to look for alternate channels for getting real-time transportation information.
The MTA’s decision to halt its Twitter alerts comes after years of providing up-to-the-minute service information via the platform. Twitter has been a source of information for riders, allowing them to keep track of delays, outages, and other important transit updates.
However, the recent changes made by the social media giant have prompted the MTA to look for alternative ways to provide transit information.
Twitter’s decision to strip blue verification check marks from accounts that do not pay a monthly fee has created uncertainty for public agencies and other organizations worldwide.
Twitter has responded by introducing gold checks for “verified organizations” and gray checks for government organizations and their affiliates. But for many agencies, such as the MTA, the cost of obtaining a gold check is too high to justify.
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In its announcement, the MTA encouraged riders to use its other communication channels for transit updates, including its mta.info site, text alerts, and its Weekender newsletter for weekend advisories.
The agency also listed several other ways that riders can get real-time updates, including through apps such as MYmta and TrainTime, screens in stations and on trains/buses, and by signing up for email and SMS alerts.
The MTA has informed that its Twitter accounts associated with the agency, like the @NYCTSubway account that responded to passengers, will no longer offer real-time alerts. Nonetheless, the agency has urged commuters to explore alternative means of communication like WhatsApp.
“We know this is a big change,” the MTA said in its announcement. “But we’re still here for you, 24/7, and our goal remains the same: to provide the most accurate, up-to-the-minute information possible so you can have a smooth and safe ride.”
The MTA’s decision to stop providing Twitter alerts has disappointed some riders who have relied on the platform to stay informed. One Twitter user replied to the agency’s announcement, saying, “Your Twitter updates are way faster than your app and the screens on the platform. Please reconsider.”
The user adds, “Here you guys tell us why there is a delay: someone getting hit, police activity, power outages, dirty trains, brakes, etc… the app is delayed and gives no details. The Twitter account is way more reliable.”
The MTA’s decision to stop using Twitter for real-time alerts is a significant change as users will need to adjust to the new communication channel.