The gas shortage in New York due to Hurricane Sandy has become an increasingly frustrating experience for car owners in the area, with hours-long lines, near fistfights and many gas stations running out of gasoline before everyone can fill up their tanks. To help alleviate the scramble for gas until the supply gets back to normal, Mayor Bloomberg has signed an emergency order establishing an odd-even license plate system to bring a little order to the mayhem at the pump. Until further notice, vehicles with license plates ending in an even number may purchase gas on even days, and on odd numbered days, plates ending in a letter or odd number can have a go. Or if you really want to do yourself a favor, just take public transportation and skip the headache of waiting for gas altogether.
Hurricane Sandy’s effect on the gas situation in the New York area goes beyond a lack of gas at the pump. Sandy’s flooding has damaged the complicated petroleum infrastructure in the region from shutting down refineries to flooding roads for trucks to haul and refill local stations. Power outages furthered the inability to get New York’s gas supply replenished, causing a glimpse of a future without fossil fuels, with many stations bearing signs that read “NO MORE GAS.”
Hopefully Bloomberg’s mandate will reestablish order in the lines at the gas pump. The call for alternate day refueling could help alleviate gas station lines and tensions until New York is returned to normal.
The order does not apply to commercial vehicles, emergency vehicles, buses, paratransit vehicles, autos with Medical Doctor plates and Taxi and Limousine Commission vehicles.