New York City Mayor orders odd-even gasoline rationing

NEW YORK, Nov 8 (Reuters) - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday ordered the rationing of gasoline due to a severe shortage caused by Superstorm Sandy.

Based on license plate numbers ending in odd or even numbers, drivers will be allowed to buy gasoline on alternating days, Bloomberg announced at a briefing. Licenses ending in a letter are eligible to buy gas on odd-numbered days, he said.

The system, which follows a similar rationing regime implemented in New Jersey last week because of Sandy, begins at 6 a.m. on Friday, he said.

New York City has been hard hit by fuel shortages since Sandy hit ten days ago, due to power outages and inventory that has been stranded at refineries.

Bloomberg said only a quarter of the city’s gas stations are open.

Emergency vehicles, buses, taxis and certain other vehicles are exempt from the rationing system, he said.