NYC Gas Rationing: Mayor Bloomberg Tells People 'Get Used To It'

By Amir Khan on November 9, 2012 1:52 PM EST

Bloomberg
NYC gas rationing may be here to stay, Mayor Bloomberg said (Photo: Creative Commons)

NYC gas rationing began today as the city tries to cut down on the long wait times people have faced in order to get gas in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Police began enforcing the system this morning, and people began lining up at dawn to try to beat the rush.

Gas lines in New York have been several hours long, as the NYC gas rationing program is seeking to alleviate that wait. Someone already see a difference.

"It's a lot better," Luis Cruz, 35, of the Bronx, told the Associated Press. "A couple of days ago I waited four hours. They should have done this a long time ago."

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Under the rule, cars with a license plate that ends in an odd number or a letter can buy gas on odd numbered days. Cars with a license plate that ends in an even number or a zero can buy gas on even numbered day. Buses, taxis, limousines, commercial vehicles and emergency vehicles are exempt from the NYC gas rationing.

"This is not a step that we take lightly, but given the shortage that we will face for the next few weeks and the growing frustrations of New Yorkers, we believe it is the right step," Mayor Bloomberg told the New York Times.

Violations of the NYC gas rationing program are punishable by up to three months in jail.

People carrying gas cans are exempt as well, according to Governor Cuomo, who acknowledged that people need the gas to power electric generators. An angry Cuomo also called for an investigation into why some people are still without electricity or power.

"It's unacceptable the longer it goes on because the longer it goes on, people's suffering is worse," he told the Associated Press.

While the NYC gas rationing program goes into effect, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said New Jersey's once long gas lines are now non-existant.

"I've driven around the state the last two days and I've barely seen any fuel lines anymore," he told the New York Times. "There's order, there's plenty of gas."

Bloomberg said he did not know how long the NYC gas rationing program would go on for, but said it could take weeks for the gas situation to get back to normal.

"We'll keep it in for a while," he said. "You know, if you think about it, it's no great imposition once you get used to it.

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