Transit Agencies Could Lose Access to Twitter Updates

Twitter announced it would start charging for access to its API, which many transit and government agencies rely on to provide real-time service updates.

1 minute read

April 18, 2023, 9:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Person on subway platform holds phone and looks toward track

Rawpixel.com / Subway passenger

Elon Musk’s plan to start charging users of the Twitter application programming interface (API) could mean the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and other transit agencies will lose the ability to post real-time transit updates on the platform, reports Skylar Woodhouse in Bloomberg CityLab.

“According to reporting by Wired, the lowest-cost access to Twitter’s API system could cost companies and public agencies that use it $42,000 a month, or more than $500,000 a year—” a significant amount for an agency already facing a $600 million deficit that is projected to grow to $3 billion in 2025.

The agency’s Twitter alerts temporarily went dark last weekend, but was later reinstated. “Twitter didn’t offer a time line for when older accounts would lose access, the agency said.” The Bay Area Rapid Transit District also had API access problems during the same time. An article in AMNY notes that other government agencies, such as the National Weather Service, were also affected by this weekend’s incident.

Monday, April 17, 2023 in Bloomberg CityLab

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