Technology being used to reduce border wait times

Technology being used to reduce border wait times

U.S. and Canadian officials have installed new technology at the Peace Bridge and Lewiston-Queenston Bridge to ease crossing the border for truckers and travelers. Transportation officials have installed sensors in the areas around both border crossings to measure traffic delays and report real-time information to drivers through the Internet. The sensors allow drivers to time their crossings and find the bridge with the shortest wait time by logging on to the website for each bridge.

“This technology will make cross-border travel easier and facilitate trade by providing reliable, up-to-date information to help drivers plan and choose the fastest crossing,” according to Rob Nicholson, minister of justice and Attorney General of Canada.

“While driving to the border, we naturally wonder whether it will be faster to cross at Fort Erie or Queenston,” said Nicholson. “With this new technology, accurate, up-to-the-minute crossing times will be posted well before you reach the border.”

The new system is expected to reduce border wait times for truckers and the travelling public by up to one million hours per year. Up-to-date information on the Peace Bridge and Queenston-Lewiston Bridge websites will help drivers to plan and save money on fuel by avoiding congestion.

“This technology demonstrates significant progress on behalf of the Beyond the Border Action Plan by updating critical infrastructure at our ports and enhancement of the border-crossing experience for travelers,” said David Aguilar, acting customs and border protection commissioner. “This latest example of US-Canadian collaboration demonstrates our nations' partnership to ensure continued economic competitiveness.”

“Freight movement is essential to commerce and a healthy economy,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. “This technology will help U.S. businesses move their goods and products more efficiently across the border to help grow our national economy and create jobs.”

This project supports commitments under the Beyond the Border Action Plan announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama on Dec. 7, 2011. Under this Plan, Canada and the U.S. committed to reduce, eliminate and prevent barriers to cross-border trade and travel and install border wait time measurement technology at the top 20 land crossings.

The border wait time technology will also:

  • Help border agencies better manage traffic volume by providing reliable information for planning purposes.
  • Ensure more efficient border operations by allowing border agencies to focus resources on security.
  • Reduce environmental impacts by decreasing vehicle emissions from border congestion and delays.

This project was completed in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Canada Border Services Agency and Transport Canada.

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