2012: A year ahead in transit
-- The MTA budget calls for a 7.5% increase every two years, meaning that the agency will raise its fares by Dec. 31, 2012. It has yet to be determined whether the hike will come in the cost of monthly passes or single-ride tickets.
-- A citywide bike-share program will begin next summer, with 600 stations and 10,000 bicycles available to rent throughout Manhattan and North Brooklyn. More bike racks may eventually wind up in the other boroughs, depending on demand.
-- The first of up to 18,000 new outer-borough cabs will hit the streets this year thanks to a law passed this month by Cuomo that legalized street hails outside Manhattan and north of 96th Street. There's no word yet on what color the new cabs will be (though it won't be yellow). There will also be hundreds of new wheelchair-accessible yellow cabs in Manhattan.
-- Real-time bus-location information will be available for all of Staten Island by early 2012. Live bus tracking is scheduled to debut citywide by 2013; it is already running successfully on the M34 route in Manhattan and the B63 in Brooklyn.
-- Additional Select Bus Service express routes are being planned throughout the city. Previously established SBS routes have already been shown to provide faster service than their local counterparts.
-- At least a dozen more countdown clocks will be turned on at subway stations along the No. 2 and 5 trains, and at the Fulton Street Transit Center.