Update: Sunday morning, Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky announced that 80 percent of the city’s taxi fleet was working on Saturday night, and that the number of taxi rides citywide has continued to rise.
New York taxi and car service companies started pulling vehicles off the road as service stations are now out of gasoline or power to run pumps.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy authorized the Metropolitan Transit Authority to waive fares Thursday and Friday as an inducement to get people to take mass transit instead of driving.
In another move to reduce congestion, New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission announced Thursday that HOV restrictions on bridges have been lifted for liveries, “black cars” and taxis.
Taxi drivers are accepting normal metered fares but are also permitted to accept additional passengers during a trip, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Taxi and Limousine Commission suggests $10 per additional passenger, but it’s up to drivers and passengers to negotiate the final amount, the Journal reported.
At the heart of the fuel supply crunch is the fact that Sandy has devastated the energy industry’s ability to move fuel into and around the New York City region, particularly the harbor, by any of the three means that normally supply the area: tanker imports from abroad; pipeline shipments from the U.S. Gulf Coast; or refinery production from the mid-New Jersey area.
The good news is none of these issues appears to be long-lasting. Power is gradually being restored in New Jersey, where much of the key infrastructure is located and New York Harbor barge traffic is expected to resume later Thursday. A key pipeline should resume limited deliveries on Friday. Even flooded refineries should eventually resume production.
The bad news is that the supply crunch may get worse before it gets better. Supplies at gas stations that remained open are running out, and it may be several more days before wholesale fuel supplies get where they need to go. Public Service Enterprise Group Inc, the biggest utility in New Jersey, said it may be up to 10 days to fully restore power. Oil tank trucks are driving three hours to Delaware City to get fuel, but they can only carry up to 9,000 gallons each.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this story.