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New York rations gas to meet severe fuel shortage post-Sandy

PTI New York | Updated on November 09, 2012 Published on November 09, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg encouraged New Yorkers to fuel up only when necessary and to use mass transit whenever possible.

Amid severe gas shortage across New York in the aftermath of last week’s hurricane Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced the city will ration gasoline to cut down the long lines at fuel stations and help customers get their supplies in an efficient manner.

Under the emergency order signed by Bloomberg on Thursday, an odd-even licence plate system has been put in place for gasoline and diesel purchases to reduce wait times and lines at gas stations in New York’s five boroughs.

The temporary odd-even system would remain in effect until further notice by the administration, which warned that the gas shortage could last a couple of weeks.

Under it, vehicles with licence plates ending in an even number or the number ‘0’ can make purchases of motor fuel on even numbered days, while vehicles with licence plates ending in an odd number would be eligible to purchase fuel on odd numbered days.

Vehicles with licence plates ending in a letter or other character can make purchases on odd-numbered days.

Commercial vehicles, emergency vehicles, buses and paratransit vehicles and Medical Doctor (MD) plates are exempt from the new rule.

Video: After Sandy, commuters queue for fuel and ferry

Video: New Jersey residents line up for gas in Sandy's wake

“Last week’s storm hit the fuel network hard and knocked out critical infrastructure needed to distribute gasoline,” Bloomberg said at a news briefing here.

“Even as the region’s petroleum infrastructure slowly returns to normal, the gasoline supply remains a real problem for thousands of New York drivers.”

The mayor said his emergency order to alternate the days that drivers can purchase gas is the “best way” to cut down long lines at gas stations and help customers buy gas faster.

Sandy had caused significant flooding and damage to petroleum infrastructure throughout the tri-state region, causing refineries to shut down, pumping stations to lose electricity and terminals in the region to close.

Bloomberg encouraged New Yorkers to fuel up only when necessary and to use mass transit whenever possible.

Published on November 09, 2012
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