WASHINGTON, November 9 (RIA Novosti) - In an effort to ease frustrations over long lines at gas stations, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Thursday, plans to begin rationing fuel in the city as it continues to recover from the damage left behind by Hurricane Sandy.
Beginning Friday morning, drivers with license plates ending in an even number can buy gas only on even-numbered days. Drivers with license plates ending in an odd number can only buy fuel on odd-numbered days.
Bloomberg said emergency vehicles, buses, taxis, and commercial vehicles are exempt from the rationing procedures and police officers will be on duty at gas stations to assist with crowd control.
Only 25 percent of New York City gas stations are open, according to Bloomberg.
Nearby Long Island, which is also dealing with long gas lines, will begin fuel rationing as well on Friday.
Gas became scarce in the region after Hurricane Sandy flooded underground equipment that sends fuel through pipelines and damaged ports that accept fuel tankers. Bloomberg estimated low fuel supplies could last for several more weeks.
Bloomberg said New York’s rationing will be similar to the rules imposed last Saturday in the neighboring state of New Jersey, which has seen long lines reduced and gas stations remain open later since rationing began.