New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg this week signed an emergency order establishing gas rationing throughout the city. The implemented system uses odd-even license plate numbers to designate alternating days on which customers can purchase gasoline and diesel fuel. Commercial vehicles, emergency vehicles, busses, doctors, and taxis are all exempt.
The mayor stated that the rationing was needed to reduce wait times and long lines at gas stations. Flooding and winds from Hurricane Sandy damaged the petroleum infrastructure in and around New York City. Some refineries were shut down, terminals in the region were closed, and many pumping stations lost electricity. According to Bloomberg, most of the region's infrastructure has been restored and the supply of gas in rising. According to the mayor's office, the rationing will "ease disruptions and wait times for drivers attempting to fuel their vehicles.
“Last week’s storm hit the fuel network hard - and knocked out critical infrastructure needed to distribute gasoline,” said Bloomberg. “Even as the region’s petroleum infrastructure slowly returns to normal, the gasoline supply remains a real problem for thousands of New York drivers. Earlier today, I signed an emergency order to alternate the days that drivers can purchase gas, which is the best way to cut down the lines and help customers buy gas faster.”
NYPD officers have been dispatched to all open gas stations in each of the five boroughs, and will remain there to "maintain public safety."