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Odd-Even Gas Rationing System Coming To New York City, Long Island

YAPHANK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- New York City and Long Island are following in New Jersey's footsteps in instituting an odd-even gas rationing system.

In an effort to ease long lines associated with the the fuel crunch taking place in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a rationing system will go into effect on Friday.

Beginning at 6 a.m., those with license plates ending in an odd number will be able to buy gas on odd numbered days.

Those with license plates ending in an even number will be able to buy gas on even numbered days.

"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."

The temporary odd-even system will remain in effect until further notice, and will operate as follows:


  • Vehicles with license plates ending in an even number or the number "0" can make purchases of motor fuel on even numbered days.
  • Vehicles with license plates ending in an odd number can make purchases of motor fuel on odd numbered days.
  • Vehicles with licenses plates ending in a letter or other character can make purchases on odd numbered days.
  • Commercial vehicles, emergency vehicles, buses and paratransit vehicles, Medical Doctor (MD) plates and vehicles licensed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission are exempt.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced a similar plan Thursday to institute a fuel management system in both Suffolk and Nassau counties.

The rationing system will go into effect Friday at 5 a.m.


  • Drivers with license plates ending in an even number will be able to purchase fuel only on even-numbered days and drivers with license plate numbers that end in an odd number will be able to purchase fuel only on odd-numbered days.
  • License plates such as vanity plates that do not display numbers will be considered odd-numbered plates.
  • Out of state vehicles will be subject to the same requirements when purchasing fuel in Suffolk County.
  • This policy does not apply to commercial vehicles, taxi or limousine fleets or emergency fleets, nor does it apply to hand held gas canisters.

"This temporary fuel policy will ease the challenges residents of the bi-county region are experiencing in the aftermath of the storm," said Bellone. "Our citizens travel between Nassau and Suffolk without regard to county borders and it only makes sense that we adopt a regional solution. I thank my counterpart Nassau County Executive Mangano for working with me to adopt this policy."

Governor Andrew Cuomo released the following statement on Nassau County, Suffolk County, and New York City's gas-rationing plans:

"Due to additional fuel supply disruptions caused by the Nor'easter which hit the region last night, Nassau and Suffolk Counties and the City of New York have decided to implement temporary fuel management measures to reduce lines at retail gasoline stations. The plans are regionally synchronized and all will have the same rules. The plans will impose odd-even rules on the purchase of gasoline for non-commercial vehicles and have been designed in coordination. Westchester, Rockland, and Orange will not have fuel management measures at this time. The state will continue to coordinate among local governments, as well as the federal government, to ensure that the any fuel management measures are planned and implemented in conjunction with the Coast Guard, the U.S. Department of Energy and the petroleum industry."

The gas rationing plan is slightly different from the one in place in New Jersey.

IN NEW JERSEY, specifically Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Morris, Monmouth, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.

  • Residents with license plates ending in an odd number can make gas purchases on odd-numbered days of the month.
  • Residents with plates ending in an even number will be able to buy gas on even-numbered days.
  • Specialized plates or those not displaying a number will be considered odd numbered plates.
  • It does not apply to hand-held canisters.

What do you think of the plans to ration gas in New York City and on Long Island? Think it will help? Let us know below.

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