NYC transit agency ends Twitter alerts, says it’s unreliable

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. real-time / ˈri əl taɪm / (adj.) – communicated or shown at the actual time of an event or process

    This delivery app gives me real-time updates about the status of my order.

  2. advisory / ædˈvaɪ zə ri / (n.) – an official announcement that warns people about bad weather, diseases, etc.

    The local government provides traffic advisories on its social media account.

  3. strip / strɪp / (v.) – to remove something

    The university is stripping the scholarships of the athletes who were involved in the scandal.

  4. impersonator / ɪmˈpɜr səˌneɪ tər / (n.) – a person pretending to be someone else

    The impersonator looks very much like Michael Jackson.

  5. steep / stip / (adj.) – too much or unreasonably high

    Many parents complained about the steep tuition hike this year.


Read the text below.

New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Agency, which for 14 years has provided real-time information on service outages, delays and other important transit updates for its 1.3 million Twitter followers, will no longer do so.

The NYC MTA said 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 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 in April 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 comes 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.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • For 14 years, NYC MTA has provided its followers on Twitter with real-time information on service outages, delays, and other important transit updates. In your opinion, how important is it to provide real-time public service advisories? Discuss.
  • How are public service updates shared in your country? Do you think it’s effective? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Twitter started stripping blue verification check marks from accounts that don’t pay a monthly fee. Do you think government-owned accounts should be exempted from this or should they find a way to pay? Why? Discuss.
  • Public agencies and other organizations around the world scrambled to figure a way out to show they’re trustworthy after they were stripped of their blue verification marks. How do government agencies in your country show trustworthiness (ex. through reports, through advertisements)? Discuss.