60-Second Tech

Web Sites Share Gas Availability Info

Drivers in the post-Sandy New York metropolitan area have a few high-tech ways to shorten the odds on long gas lines. Larry Greenemeier reports

Of all the inconveniences brought on by Superstorm Sandy, one of the most lasting has been the gas shortage throughout New York, New Jersey and surrounding areas. For more than a week homeowners and drivers have been waiting in long lines—often with a police presence—without guarantee that there will be any gas left when they finally get to the pump.

So some consumers are looking for help online. For the past week Hess Express has published a daily list of N.Y., N.J. and surrounding area stations that are open and the specific number of gallons available. Hess recommends going to a station only if its inventory exceeds 7,000 gallons. ExxonMobil offers a daily list of functioning stations, but no details about inventory. You can also text the company to have a list sent to your mobile device., a site launched in 2004 to let drivers share info about fuel prices, now offers detailed maps showing which stations have gas and which to avoid. Unfortunately, as of November 8th, the latter still vastly outnumber the former.

—Larry Greenemeier

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

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