New York City and Long Island to Ration Diesel and Gas

By Paul Riegler on 8 November 2012
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Gas rationing is coming to New York City and Long Island Friday as local officials attempt to reduce long wait times at filling stations.

Filling station in New York City

Motorists who have a license plate that ends in an odd number will be able to purchase gas or diesel on odd-numbered days.  Those with license plates ending in an even number or zero will be able to buy gas or diesel on even-numbered days.  License plates ending in a letter will be considered odd while rationing is in effect.

The new rules that hope to ameliorate the fuel shortage that followed the destruction of Hurricane Sandy begin at 6 a.m. local time Friday.

In New York City, only 25% of the city’s 800 gas stations are open, many because fuel is not available to them.

“Drivers are still facing long lines. Frustrations are only growing,” said New York’s Mayor Bloomberg at a City Hall news conference. “The best way, we think, to cut down the lines and help customers buy gas faster, to help gas stations stay open longer and to reduce the potential for disorder is to alternate the days that drivers can purchase gas.”

Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island will have the same rules in place, while Westchester, Rockland, and Orange counties will not have fuel rationing measures put into effect.  Several counties in New Jersey imposed similar regulations last week.

In New York City, some vehicles will be exempt from rationing, including authorized emergency vehicles, buses, commercial vehicles, taxi cabs, and cars with medical doctor license plates.