New reversal by Twitter after move sparked MTA withdrawl

Twitter has restored free access to a key tool for verified users after initially saying it would limit the feature to its paying customers.

The reverse is also known as a 180-degree turn

Twitter has restored its service

Free access to a key service for verified government services and 'publicly-owned' services, so that they can tweet alerts about weather, transit and more. This comes after New York City’s transit agency announced earlier this week that it would not use the platform anymore for its service advisories.

Last week, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was one of many official and unofficial Twitter accounts who lost their access to Twitter’s API (application programming interface) to send automated alerts regarding service changes and emergency situations. Senior executives decided to stop publishing service updates on the platform by Thursday afternoon.

This decision puts the largest transportation network in the United States among an increasing number of accounts, ranging from National Public Radio and Elton John to National Public Radio, that have reduced or abandoned their Twitter presence since Elon Musk took over the platform.

Twitter has hinted that private accounts may no longer be able to disseminate information for free. Last month, Twitter announced a new pricing structure that will charge users for access to their API. This is used by accounts who post alerts frequently, like transit agencies and weather agencies.

MTA officials estimate the cost to be as high as $50,000 per month. This amount is a concern for a transit agency with a multi-billion dollar budget deficit.

Last Thursday, MTA informed its 1,000,000 Twitter followers that they will no longer be using the platform to provide service alerts and other information.

Twitter announced on Tuesday that verified gov or publicly-owned services who tweet weather updates, transport updates, and emergency notifications can use the API for these vital purposes for free.

MTA officials were in contact with Twitter's team of developers in recent days. However, the agency did not say whether it would return to publishing alerts for service on Twitter.

MTA representatives did not respond immediately to a comment request.


Jake Offenhartz, a writer for the Associated Press in New York, contributed to this article.