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Gas Rationing Could Extend Past Thanksgiving, Bloomberg Says

By Jill Colvin | November 16, 2012 10:01am

NEW YORK CITY — The city’s odd-even gas rationing system could last through Thanksgiving, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday.

The current executive order — signed to ease chaotic lines at the pumps after Hurricane Sandy ravaged gas supplies — is set to expire Sunday, but it could stretch all the way through the following week, Bloomberg told WOR'S John Gambling during the pair's weekly radio show.

"Thanksgiving's coming up. A lot of people drive and fill up their cars. Maybe we should have it go another week," Bloomberg said, adding that he would decide whether to sign a new executive order by the end of the day Friday.

Under the system put in place last Friday, drivers whose license plates end in an odd number, a letter or other character may only buy gas or diesel fuel on odd-numbered days. License plates that end in even numbers, including the number zero, will be able to buy gas only on even-numbered days.

Emergency vehicles, commercial trucks and delivery vehicles, taxis and medical shuttle buses like Access-a-Ride remain exempt.

Bloomberg said he couldn't say for sure whether the rationing helped ease the lines at the pump, but said, "All I can tell you is when we put it in, the lines started to ease. It certainly hasn't hurt."

"If it in the end protects you, why not run it for another five days?" he asked.

He said close to 70 percent of the city's gas stations are now open — up from just 20 percent last week.