New Jersey lifts gas rationing, but Bloomberg wants New York City to ‘ride with it’ for a while

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Bloomberg in Howard Beach on Monday. (via NYC.gov)
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Tomorrow, New Jersey will lift its post-Hurricane Sandy gas rationing scheme, but here in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to "ride with it," for a while.

"For the moment, we're gonna leave these in," said the mayor today at a school in Howard Beach that was badly damaged by the storm. "It would be interesting to see what happens in New Jersey, but you can never get good numbers anyways, so it's all gonna be anecdotal."

At any rate, said Bloomberg, "it's not that much of an inconvenience, people have gotten used to it already."

The city implemented odd-even gas rationing late last week in an effort to shorten lines at gas stations. 

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At the time, the city estimated that only one in four city gas stations was open for business.

Bloomberg estimated that gas rationing would reduce waits from an average of two hours to 45 minutes.

"It's hard to measure, but it looks like there are a handful more gas stations open than there were yesterday and the day before," said the mayor today. "Anecdotal evidence is that lines are shorter, and hopefully that's true."

Bloomberg made the trip out to southwest Queens with Council speaker Christine Quinn and comptroller John Liu to make two announcements.

First, the city will make an emergency allocation of $500 million, $200 million of which will go to the Department of Education to repair damaged school buildings, including 23 that have been temporarily closed.

The other $300 million will go to the city's Health and Hospital Corporation for repairs to hospital buildings, including the extensively damaged Bellevue and Coney Island hospitals and the Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility on Roosevelt Island.

The administration, working with Liu, has also approved $134 million thus far for emergency services, including debris removal and food distribution, home inspections, and repairs to structures like the Battery Park Overpass, the Whitehall and St. George ferry terminals.

The mayor also announced that the city would waive Buildings Department application and permit fees for repairs related to Hurricane Sandy.