New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it would resume posting automated transit alerts to Twitter on Thursday after the social media company backtracked on a plan to charge public service accounts for access to the platform.
In a statement Thursday, MTA Acting Chief Customer Officer Shanifah Rieara said Twitter had tried to charge the MTA more than $500,000 a year for access to its platform, but that the MTA refused.
“We’re glad that Twitter has committed to offering free API access for public service providers,” the MTA tweeted, referring to the software interface that enables third parties to create automated posts on Twitter.
In another tweet, it added: “We know that customers missed us, so starting today, we’ll resume posting service alerts on @NYCTSubway, @NYCTBus, @LIRR, and @MetroNorth.”
In recent weeks, Twitter has sought to charge businesses for the ability to access its platform. Its paid plans cost as much as $2.5 million a year for top-tier access. The paywall’s introduction in March prompted widespread warnings by public services of possible disruptions to weather and transit alerts.
Amid the outcry, Twitter changed course on Tuesday and said that verified government accounts would once again be able to post automated tweets for free.