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Gas rationing system receives mixed reviews among drivers

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Albany/HV: Gas rationing system receives mixed reviews among drivers
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The gas shortage that has been plaguing the city since Sandy finally forced Mayor Michael Bloomberg to initiate a gas rationing system that is receiving mixed reviews among New Yorkers. YNN's Roger Clark filed the following report.

NEW YORK CITY -- Before gas rationing went into effect at 6 a.m. Friday, Anna Wojwnik was able to make it to a Hess Station on McGuinness Boulevard.

"Come here to any gas station that was open, stay in line and get some gas so I can go to work tomorrow," Wojwnik said. "Because if I don't get gas right now I can't get gas later on because of my plates."

At 6 a.m. sharp, NYPD officers started checking the gas line on the street for plates that ended in even numbers like Wojwnik's. Starting then you needed an odd number or letter at the end of your plate to get gas on Friday, an odd-numbered day of the month.

Some were unlucky -- maybe they hadn't heard the news or simply ran out of time and had to leave the line.

The new gas rationing rules state that cars whose license plates end with an odd number or a letter can only get gas on odd-numbered dates.

Cars with a license plate ending with an even number can only get gas on even numbered dates.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg approved the plan Thursday, one week after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie put a similar system into effect for his state.

The system is also in place in Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island.

Emergency and commercial vehicles, buses, taxis, livery cabs and doctors with MD plates are exempt from the new rules.

Some drivers who have been dealing with the gas supply shortage since Sandy said it didn't take as long to get to the pump.

"In the past week, around two hours," one woman said. "Today, just 30 minutes on line."

Though not everyone felt the system was making a difference.

"I've been waiting so long I didn't want to give up my spot," one man said. "Afraid I wouldn't get any gas."

Those who were eligible to get gas on the first day of the rationing felt pretty lucky despite the wait.

"I'm very lucky I have an odd number," one woman said. "But I've always been odd anyway so it doesn't matter."

But after only about five hours customers weren't feeling so lucky -- the gas had run out.

The line that was several blocks long melted away as drivers headed off to look elsewhere for a fill-up. Many tried to go to a station just across the street.

"I'm very upset," one man said.

That about sums up the feelings of many New Yorkers, fed up with the gas situation.

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