NYC's transport authority returns to Twitter as free API access is restored

It’s still recommending people sign up for email and SMS alerts.

Caitlin Ochs / reuters

NYC’s Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) has returned to Twitter after leaving the platform last month. Real-time status updates are once again available across the organization’s multiple accounts. This is good news for commuters, as MTA’s social media accounts are a reliable way to suss out any issues with the city’s subways, buses and trains.

The MTA originally left Twitter the decision to start charging for API access, a move that would’ve cost the organization $50,000 each month, according to Bloomberg. That’s a whole lot of subway tokens. It went on to say that Twitter “is no longer reliable for providing the consistent updates riders expect.”

So what changed? Twitter did. The social network reversed course on charging exorbitant API fees to verified government and publicly-owned services that use the tool for "critical purposes" like emergency notifications, transportation updates and weather alerts. Being as how the MTA is all about transportation updates, it made the cut.