April 28: New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Agency, which for 13 years has provided real-time information on service outages, delays and other important transit updates for its 1.3 million followers, will no longer do so.
The NYC MTA said Thursday that “Twitter is no longer reliable for providing the consistent updates riders expect.” For this reason, the agency tweeted, it will no longer use the platform for service alerts and information.
The MTA also listed other ways subway, train and bus riders can get reliable transit information, including through its mta.info site, text alerts and its Weekender newsletter for weekend advisories.
Twitter has long been a way for people to keep track of train delays, news and weather alerts or the latest crime warnings from their local police department.
But when the Elon Musk-owned platform started stripping blue verification check marks this month from accounts that don’t pay a monthly fee, it left public agencies and other organizations around the world scrambling to figure out a way to show they’re trustworthy and avoid impersonators.
New York City’s government Twitter account, for instance, pinned a tweet to its profile telling users that it is an “authentic Twitter account representing the New York City Government This is the only account for @NYCGov run by New York City government.”
While Twitter is now offering gold checks for “verified organizations” and gray checks for government organizations and their affiliates, the former come at a cost too steep to justify for many agencies.
The MTA’s affiliate Twitter accounts, such as the @NYCTSubway account that replied to passengers, will also stop providing real-time alerts, but encouraged riders to find other ways to get in touch, such as through WhatsApp.