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PR- 439-12
November 23, 2012


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today lifted the emergency order establishing an odd-even license plate system for gasoline and diesel purchases, effective Saturday, November 24th, at 6:00 AM. Mayor Bloomberg established the odd-even license plate system on Friday, November 9th, and the system helped reduce wait times at gas stations and helped stabilize fuel purchases throughout the five boroughs while the regional fuel supply chain recovered from damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. On Sunday, the Mayor extended the odd-even system to keep gas lines manageable during some of the heaviest travel days of the year. Currently, more than 85 percent of gas stations in the city are operational and the available supply of gasoline and diesel fuel is only expected to continue to increase.

“The odd-even license plate system not only significantly reduced extreme lines, but also eased anxiety and disruptions for drivers at gas stations across the five boroughs,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “With more than 85 percent of gas stations now operating – a substantial increase from just 25 percent two weeks ago – and Thanksgiving and Black Friday behind us, the odd-even license plate system will be rescinded starting tomorrow morning.”

The temporary odd-even license plate system, which will expire tomorrow at 6:00 AM, operates 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.

Hurricane Sandy caused significant flooding and damage to petroleum infrastructure throughout the tri-state area, forcing terminals and distribution networks in the region to close. The City established the odd-even license plate system for gasoline and diesel purchases to ease disruptions for drivers fueling their vehicles, and wait times and lines noticeably improved after the system went into effect.

Following Hurricane Sandy, the City worked with the Coast Guard and the Port Authority to open up ports as quickly as possible and unlocked more than 64,000 barrels of gasoline to increase the available supply. At the City’s urging, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano also issued a temporary blanket waiver of the Jones Act to immediately allow additional oil tankers from the Gulf of Mexico to enter northeastern ports.


Marc La Vorgna / Kamran Mumtaz   (212) 788-2958


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