Nassau County Police control access to an Exxon station in Elmont, N.Y., Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012. Gasoline supplies have been limited in the region since Superstorm Sandy hit ten days ago. The police are limiting sales of gasoline at this Long Island station to first responders. / AP PHOTO/MARK LENNIHAN
NEW YORK (AP) - One man filling up his minivan today in Manhattan says the lines are a lot shorter than they were a couple of days ago.
It's the first day of a gasoline rationing plan that lets drivers fill up every other day -- depending on their license plate number. Police are enforcing the new system at stations in New York City and on Long Island.
The line at a station in Manhattan was just a block and a half long this morning, and customers said they waited about 15 minutes. Last week, in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, some lines stretched for a mile or more.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg says three-quarters of the city's gas stations still aren't able to operate -- either because they don't have power or they haven't been able to get a new supply of fuel.
Utility crews, meanwhile, are making some progress against the outages that put thousands of additional homes and businesses in the dark this week, after a nor'easter hit a region still reeling from last week's storm.