Yesterday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced new regulations to ration gasoline in New York City. Based on the last digit of their licence plate number, drivers will be able to fill up their tanks exclusively on odd or even numbered days, starting at 6 a.m. this morning. And, on his weekly radio interview with John Gambling today, Mr. Bloomberg made it clear that there wouldn’t be a lot of options to get around the policy.
“What we have done is put a police officer at every gas station that’s open, and are committed to doing that to any gas station that is not open but will open, to make sure that there’s security and that people don’t get pushy in the line and that sort of thing,” he said. “But hopefully this will help. The real answer, all the experts believe, is just with time.”
At the start of the month, Mr. Bloomberg told the city the gasoline shortage would take “some time” to be resolved after Hurricane Sandy shut down much of the area’s infrastructure, but the mayor had initially expressed a timetable of days, not weeks, for the gas supply to remain normal. At yesterday’s press conference, the mayor admitted getting through the gas shortage will take longer than he expected. As to the cause of so many gas stations remaining shuttered, the mayor had a myriad of explanations.
“Originally it was that they didn’t have electricity, although that problem has basically been solved. Also a theory was that there just was no gas available, so that they couldn’t—although you would think they have some gas in their tanks underground,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “Some of these people had other things to do, maybe, who knows? We’re trying to get a better handle on that. But regardless of why somebody’s not opening it, they’re not open. We’ve got to make sure there’s more gas. Presumably, if they have gas and they have electricity, they’re in the business in selling, so they will open.”